Northern California: Mike Myslinski 408-921-5769; Southern California: Sheri Miyamoto 310-505-7993
BURLINGAME – California’s public school teachers will join a nationwide celebration of reading on Wednesday, March 2, as they meet up with celebrities, parents, city officials and others at events statewide for the National Education Association’s 14th 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. The event is held on the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel. Honorary co-chairs of the CTA events this year are professional chef Tom Pizzica, host of Outrageous Food on the Food Network; Doreen Fang, restaurant consultant, food blogger and finalist from The Next Food Network Star program; and Joan Scharff, a vice president with Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. This year’s highlighted book is Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman and illustrated by Will Terry. It’s a tale about cooking and friendship with Miss Billie Armadilly, Tex the Tarantula and other colorful characters.
“Reading is the foundation of all learning, and the more that children read, the more they learn,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, who will be reading to preschool students in San Francisco Wednesday. “As we celebrate literacy on this day, we are also stressing how critical it is to stop the cuts that have resulted in thousands of librarian layoffs and closed libraries at some schools.”
Research ties reading to academic success, yet California has the fewest school librarians per student in the nation, due to huge state cuts and layoffs. Only about 23 percent of California public schools have a credentialed teacher librarian on campus part-time or longer, according to the California Department of Education. More Read Across America information is at www.cta.org.The media can find events in dozens of California cities at www.nea.org. Below is a sampling of confirmed events on Wednesday, March 2, across California:
SAMPLING OF CALIFORNIA READ ACROSS AMERICA EVENTS
Events With Top CTA Officers on Wednesday, March 2
SAN FRANCISCO: From 9-10 a.m., CTA President David A. Sanchez will be joined by the CTA
Read Across America honorary co-chair Tom Pizzica from the Food Network to read Armadilly Chili to two classes at Las Americas Preschool, 801 Treat Ave., San Francisco, 94110. United Educators of San Francisco President Dennis Kelly and CTA Board member Bonnie Shatun will take part. Contact: Sheri Miyamoto at 310-505-7993 (cell).
LOMA LINDA: From 10-11 a.m. in San Bernardino County, CTA Vice President Dean E. Vogel and CTA Read Across America co-chair Doreen Fang, a restaurant consultant, will read Armadilly Chili to patients at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, 11234 Anderson St., Loma Linda, 92354. Patients will get chef hats. CTA Board member Mikki Cichocki will also attend. Contact: Frank Wells at CTA, 562-708-5425.
LAKESIDE: From 9:30-11:15 a.m. in San Diego County, CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes will read with Souplantation spokesperson Tracy Marks to first-graders at two assemblies at Lakeview Elementary, 9205 Lakeview Road, Lakeside, 92040. Also attending will be CTA Board member Jim Groth. Souplantation, CTA’s newest partner for Read Across America, will provide free muffins for students. Contact: Bill Guy at CTA, 619-709-0028.
Sampling of Southern California Read Across America Events March 2
LOS ANGELES: From 9-10:45 a.m., Los Angeles chef and caterer Paul McCullough returns for a second helping to read to second-graders in two assemblies at Gratts Elementary, 309 Lucas Ave., Los Angeles, 90017. Possible surprise reader may be film and television actor Benjamin Bratt. CTA Board member Tyrone Bell will also attend. Contact: Frank Wells at CTA, 562-708-5425.
RIVERSIDE: Several celebrity readers will visit Tomas Rivera Elementary, 20440 Poppy Lane, Riverside, 92508. The readers include former Los Angeles Dodgers player Derrel "DT" Thomas (8:45-10 a.m.); about 25 members of 163d Reconnaissance Wing from March Air Reserve Base (9-10 a.m.); several members of various UC-Riverside sports teams and a representative from Assemblymen Brian Nestande's office (9:15-10:15 a.m.); three members of the Ontario Reign professional hockey team (1-1:45 p.m.). Contact: Teacher Stacy Reeves, 951-697-5757, ext. 44826.
COMPTON: Hundreds of Compton Unified students from 41 district schools will be treated to readings by Hollywood celebrities, public officials, community leaders and teachers all day at the district’s board room, 501 S. Santa Fe Ave., Compton, 90221. Cheerleaders and bands from Centennial and Dominguez high schools will serenade students. Celebrities will include Ana Ortiz from the cast of the Ugly Betty TV show; Emma Caulfield from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Jason George of the soap opera Sunset Beach, and Melissa Rivers, daughter of comic Joan Rivers. The annual Compton extravaganza is about working “collaboratively in this effort to inspire thousands of children and adults” about reading, said E. Marie Truby, president of the Compton Education Association. Contact the CEA office for more details at 310-638-8576.
LOS ANGELES REGION: Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be reading at several area schools this week. Contact these elementary schools to confirm times: In Los Angeles, Rosemont Avenue, 232nd Place, John Ritter, Logan, Glen Alta; Hermosa View Elementary in Hermosa Beach; Carl E. Gilbert, Buena Park; Sven Lokrentz Special Education School, Reseda; Moffit in Norwalk. Contact: Sheri Miyamoto at CTA, 310-505-7993.
OCEANSIDE: Students at Libby Elementary, 4991 Macario Drive, will spend the day on the school field doing various events to celebrate reading in an event sponsored by the Libby Student Council. The famous Libby tiger will be walking around encouraging students to read their favorite books, and a door decorating contest will be held, with the theme of “favorite books.” Contact: Teacher Jennifer Skellett at 760-901-7000.
Sampling of Northern California Read Across America Events March 2
SAN JOSE: From 9-9:45 a.m., soccer star Brandi Chastain, former Chicago Bears star Tim Ryan and other celebrity readers will read to students at Anderson Elementary, 5800 Calpine Drive, in the Oak Grove School District. Oak Grove Education Association President KC Walsh will be attending as well. The theme is Dr. Seuss-related, with readers wearing Cat in the Hat hats. Contact: Teacher Mariana Figueroa at 408-225-6556 or on cell, 408-398-9417.
SAN JOSE: Teachers from San Jose Unified will be reading to kids at all 11 public libraries in town from 4-5 p.m. The educators will also be donating new books to these libraries. Contact: San Jose Teachers Association President Steve McMahon at 408-267-0411.
SAN JOSE: Two events in Franklin-McKinley School District are set. Parents and others will read to kids from 1-2:40 p.m. at Santee Elementary, 1313 Audobon Drive, San Jose, 95121. Older students will read to younger students from 8:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Meadows Elementary, 1250 Taper Lane, San Jose, 95112. Meadows will host a family reading night from 6-7 p.m. featuring children’s writer Marcus St. Marcus, author of The Tiger and the Turtle. Contacts: At Santee, teachers Graciela Heinz and Kimberly Leonhardt at 408-283-6450; at Meadows, teacher Charleene Puder at 408-283-6300.
HAYWARD: From 10:30-11 a.m., the fifth-grade students at Colonial Acres Elementary, 17115 Meekland Ave., will be reading to kindergarteners and serving breakfast snacks. Contact: Teacher Cindy Crawford at 510-708-9245.
ROHNERT PARK: On March 9 in Sonoma County, from 10 a.m. to noon, 250 students from Lawrence Jones Middle School will read to younger students at Evergreen Elementary, 1125 Emily Ave., Rohnert Park, 94928, in this celebration in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District. Contact: Teacher Mary Denson at 707-285-0138.
STOCKTON: From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when school lets out early, students at Ansel Adams Elementary, 9275 Glacier Point Drive, will be wearing pajamas as they celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss. There will be a book swap and several activities about the joys of reading. Contact: Teacher Janille Bohren at 209-953-9601.
SACRAMENTO: Starting at 9:15 a.m., California Professional Firefighters union Vice President Bobby Weist and CTA Board member Toby Boyd will read to students at Jed Smith Elementary, 401 McClatchy Way, Sacramento, 95818. Contact: Teacher Jennifer Garcia at 916-264-4175.
SACRAMENTO: Assembly Member Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, has introduced a resolution about the celebration of Read Across America Day. However, due to the state budget crisis, the planned ceremony is postponed until further notice. Contact: Sandra Jackson at CTA, 916-325-1550.
BAKERSFIELD : From 4-5:30 p.m., free readings for families are set at several Bakersfield locations. Locations include Beale Memorial Library, Southwest Library, Wilson Library, Russo’s Bookstore and Barnes & Noble. And at The Martin Luther King Jr. Center there will be storytelling and fun literacy-enriching activities for everyone. For more information, go to www.bakersfieldteachers.org or contact Michelle Johnson at 661-327-4567.
FRESNO: On Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., members of the Fresno Teachers Association are joining with the management of Fashion Fair Mall to again celebrate Read Across America. School board members and teachers will serve as celebrity readers. The event will be held in the Center Court at the mall, 645 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno. Contact the Fresno Teachers Association at 559-224-8430.
The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.