Contacts: Los Angeles Region: Frank Wells at 562-708-5425; San Diego, Orange County, Riverside: Bill Guy at 619-709-0028; Bay Area: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324; Central Valley: Dina Martin at 415-710-6794
California’s public school teachers will join a nationwide celebration of reading on Monday as they meet up with celebrities, parents, city officials and others at events statewide for the National Education Association’s 12th annual “Read Across America” extravaganza.
Millions of people across the nation will take part in the celebration, as will thousands of California educators and students. Co-chairs of the California Teachers Association’s events this year are actor Jason George from ABC’s “Eli Stone” show, and hockey great Luc Robitaille, who retired from the Los Angeles Kings in 2006 as the highest-scoring left winger in NHL history. The day is tied to the birthday of author Dr. Seuss, and California’s theme this year is “Reading is Cool.”
“This celebration of reading honors literacy and the truth that learning to read well is the foundation of academic success,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA, who will be reading to kids Monday at Los Altos Elementary in San Diego. “Despite severe school budget cuts and other hardships, teachers every day inspire our students to see the joys of reading. Thanks to educators, parents and others who read to them, kids see that reading is cool.”
The media can find events in dozens of California cities at this NEA link, but should call ahead to confirm them: http://home.nea.org/readacross/raastate.cfm?s=California. Below is a sampling of confirmed events on Monday, March 2, across the state:
San Diego: 8:30 a.m. CTA President David A. Sanchez will read to students at Los Altos Elementary, 1332 Kenalan Drive, San Diego, 92154. Contact: Bill Guy, 619-709-0028.
Lennox: 9:30 a.m. CTA Secretary-Treasurer Dan Vaughn will be joined by actor Jason George and hockey legend Luc Robitaille in reading children’s books to students at Dolores Huerta Elementary, 4125 W. 105th St., Lennox, 90304. Contact: Sheri Miyamoto, 310-505-7993.
San Diego : Volunteer readers will include members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, retired teachers, Kiwanis Club members and former students in the celebration at Marston Middle School, 3799 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 92117. Contact: Kate Nagy, 858-273-2030, ext. 4218 or 4219.
Compton: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Scores of Hollywood celebrities will join teachers and school board members in reading in shifts to 1,200 students at Compton Unified School District at the CUSD offices, 501 South Sante Fe, Compton, 90221. Celebrites include Emmy Award-winning actor John Lithgow; nearly the entire cast of the hit teen TV drama, “The Secret Life of An American Teenager”; Raven-Symone of “That’s So Raven”; Sabrina Bryan from the “Cheetah Girls” music group; Esai Morales of “NYPD Blue” fame; and Jamie Elman from “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Contacts: Compton Education Association President Marie Truby at 310-638-8576, or Toni Gaines at email@example.com.
Vista: Sixty Marines from Camp Pendleton will read to 1,300 students in small groups, and also feed the kids green eggs and ham, in festivities at Vista Academy of Arts, 600 North Santa Fe Ave., Vista, 92083. Contact: Janet Newman, 760-941-0880.
Fullerton: (Event is on March 6) Live animals from the “Wonders of Wildlife” group will be used to illustrate stories read to children at Commonwealth Elementary School, 2200 East Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 92831. A human “Cat in the Hat” will make a visit. Contact: Darlene Naslund, 714-447-7705.
Anaheim : Students will unveil their winning entries in a Read Across America “Reading Is Cool” poster contest organized by English teacher Debbie Stikeleather at Katella High School, 2200 East Wagner Ave., Anaheim, 92806. Contact: Debbie Stikeleather, 714-999-3621.
Riverside : Drama, dance and band students will present their fifth annual Read Across America production of a “Cat In The Hat Celebration” at Norte Vista High School, 6585 Crest Ave., Riverside. Parents and community members will join in the fun. Contact: Sharron Lewis-Campbell, 951-689-0804 or 951-653-9231.
San Francisco Bay Area
St. Helena: During day-long fun, the chief of police will administer a “reader’s oath” to all students at St. Helena Primary School, 1325 Adams St., St. Helena, 94574. Reading to kids will be local firefighters, police officers, the mayor, and superintendent of schools. The principal will dress up as the Cat in the Hat and students will make hats to wear. Contact: Annette Smith, 707-967-2712.
Oakland: 8:45 a.m. Local education officials and political leaders will attend the Oakland Education Association’s Read Across America breakfast at its offices – 272 East 12th St., Oakland, 94606 – before fanning out to school sites to read to Oakland Unified School District students. Honored readers will include First Lady of Oakland Cynthia Dellums, Alameda County Schools Superintendent Sheila Jordan, OUSD Interim Superintendent Roberta Mayor, Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland school board directors, fellow unionists from SEIU 1021, the painters and carpenters union, and others. Contacts: OEA President Betty Olson-Jones at 510-866-3676 (cell), or OEA organizer Tanya Miles, 510-326-2474.
San Jose : 1-1:45 p.m. The local traffic anchor for KNTV (NBC), Mike Inouye, will don a Dr. Seuss hat and read to first-graders at Blackford Elementary, 1970 Willow St., San Jose, 95125. Contact: Dottie Gingerelli, 408-978-4675.
Central Valley and Northern California
Hoopa: 9-11 a.m. CTA Vice President Dean Vogel will be joined by CTA Board members Larry Allen and Marty Meeden in reading to students at Hoopa Elementary, 11500 State Highway 96, Hoopa, 95546. The school is located in the heart of the Hoopa Indian Reservation on the Trinity River, 60 miles northeast of Eureka. Contact: Klamath-Trinity Teachers Association President Janice McPherson at 707-498-9771 (cell).
Sacramento : Noon. On behalf of all educators, CTA Board member Michael Bustos will accept a legislative proclamation about Read Across America from Assembly member Tony Mendoza in a brief ceremony in the Assembly chambers at the Capitol. Contact: Sandra Jackson, 916-325-1550.
Sacramento : 10:30 a.m. CTA Board member Dana Dillon and Lou Paulson, president of California Professional Firefighters, will join parents and community members in reading to third graders at Ethel Phillips School, 2930 21st Ave., Sacramento, 95820. Contact: Eloise Bistas, 916-277-6277.
Bakersfield : On Sunday, March 1, authors Rick and Ryan Zeeb will read their book “Snowpeople,” and the film “Horton Hears A Who” will be shown in a Read Across America community celebration at 3 p.m. at the Majestic Fox Theater, 2001 H Street, Bakersfield. Face painting, booths and games are on tap. On Monday, March 2, from 3:30-5 p.m., the “Read 2 Children Day” readings celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday will take place at five locations in Bakersfield. For more information, contact the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association at 661-327-4567.