CTA contacts: Northern California: Mike Myslinski,408-921-5769; Southern California: Frank Wells, 562-708-5425
‘Reading Takes You Places’ is CTA Theme For Celebration
BURLINGAME – California’s public school educators will join a nationwide celebration of reading on Friday, March 1, as they meet up with parents, city officials, firefighters and others at events statewide for the National Education Association’s 16th 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 or near the March 2 birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel. California’s honorary chair of the CTA events is artist Rafael López, who is the talented illustrator of this year’s featured book in this state, “Our California,” the children’s book by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Chosen in honor of CTA’s 150th anniversary this year, the book looks at the historical significance of 14 California cities and parks and invites readers to “come discover the surprising treasures of this most golden of states.” Radiant paintings by López in the vividly colorful book help kids learn about historical details of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Monterey, Eureka, Yosemite Park, the Channel Islands and other areas.
“As educators celebrate the joys of reading in this nationwide event, we are reminded that knowing how to read is the foundation of all learning,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, who will be reading to students in Brisbane Friday in San Mateo County. “Our schools make reading skills grow, and those skills last a lifetime.”
More CTA Read Across America information is at www.cta.org/RAA. The media can find events in dozens of California cities at this NEA link, but must confirm the events first. Below is a sampling of confirmed events on Friday, March 1, unless other dates are noted:
SAMPLING OF CALIFORNIA READ ACROSS AMERICA EVENTS
Events With Top CTA Officers on Friday, March 1
BRISBANE: From 10:15-10:45 a.m. Friday, CTA President Dean E. Vogel will be reading the “Our California” book about the state’s cities and parks to first-grade students in the school library at Brisbane Elementary School, 500 San Bruno Ave., Brisbane, 94005. He will be joined by Monica Kibbe, president of Brisbane Elementary Teachers Association. Local police officers will also be reading at the school during the day, which is a spirit day when kids are encouraged to wear fun hats. The principal, Chad Carvey, has vowed to kiss a cow if his students read over 70 million words this school year – they are half way there now. CTA contact: Tiffany Hasker at 415-385-3067.
SAN YSIDRO: From 9:30-10 a.m., CTA Vice President Eric Heins will join “Our California” illustrator Rafael López in a special event at La Mirada Elementary School, 222 Avenida De La Madrid, San Ysidro, 92173. This is a Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) school, receiving extra funds to help at-risk students under this CTA-sponsored law. The reading event will be for the fourth-grade classes of Janet Hughes and Lianne Loomis, who recently shared a National Education Association Foundation grant for their English Language Learner curriculum on California history (see this news release). Students recorded their experiences on iPod Touches visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano, an historic sailing ship and on a train ride and can now speak in English about California history. CTA contact: Bill Guy at 619-709-0028.
FULLERTON: From 11-11:30 a.m., CTA Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Cichocki-Semo, a San Bernardino educator, will be reading to students at Commonwealth Elementary School, 2200 E. Commonwealth Ave. in Fullerton, 92831. CTA contact: Frank Wells at 562-708-5425.
Sampling of Southern California Read Across America Events March 1
GARDEN GROVE: From 7:30-8:30 a.m., guest readers will discuss travel stories and books in keeping with the CTA theme of “Reading Takes You Places” at Eisenhower Elementary, 13221 Lilly St. in Garden Grove, 92843. Also reading will be teacher Kendall Vaught, the statewide chair of the CTA Read Across America planning committee and a member of the CTA Board of Directors. Many readers are choosing books tied to the culture or the folklore of the places they have visited. Contact: Debi Lindberg at 714-510-1693.
TORRANCE: Students at Riviera Elementary School, 365 Paseo de Arena in Torrance, will hold a Fun Run fundraiser and wear Dr. Seuss gear. Parents are invited as guest readers sharing their favorite books. Events are 9:45 a.m.-noon. Contact: Deborah Tabush 310-533-4460, ext. 3410.
BELL: From 8:50 a.m. to noon, educators at Orchard Academies, 6411 Orchard Ave. in Bell in Los Angeles Unified School District, will conduct a celebration of reading with dozens of guests including local firefighters, police officers, television newscasters from NBC and Telemundo, and local civic leaders including Bell Mayor Ali Saleh. Contact: Teacher Librarian Anna Lee at 213-804-2054.
COMPTON: About 1,500 Compton Unified School District students from 14 elementary and middle schools will be treated to readings by volunteers all day Friday at the district’s offices, 501 S. Santa Fe Ave., Compton, 90221. Bands from Compton, Centennial and Willowbrook high schools will serenade students. Readers include retired members of the Compton Education Association (CEA), business owners, students and community members. This event is a joint project of CEA and the district. Contact the CEA office for more details at 310-638-8576.
COMMERCE: At 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, CTA Board member Theresa Montaño will read to kindergarten students at Bandini Elementary in the Montebello Unified School District. Several guest readers will be at the school, located at 2318 Couts Ave., Commerce, 90040. Contact: Theresa Montaño at 323-829-1653.
EL SEGUNDO: Center Street School, 700 Center St., will have activities all day, including guest readers and student-performed skits that celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss. Contact the school at 310-615-2676.
LA CANADA: Kindergartners at La Canada Elementary School, 4540 Encinas Drive, La Canada Flintridge, will hold a birthday celebration Friday for Dr. Seuss featuring cake, balloons, and a visit from the Cat in the Hat. Community volunteers will read in every classroom all day. Contact the school at 818-952-8350.
EL CENTRO: In Imperial County Friday morning, students at Desert Garden and King elementary schools in El Centro Elementary School District will be treated to readings of the famous baseball poem “Casey At The Bat.” Readers will be high school baseball players in uniform who will also act out the drama. They’re from Southwest High School in the Central Union High School District. The El Centro Secondary Teachers Association (ECSTA) went to bat for creating this event. Contact: ECSTA President Catherine Drew at 760-554-2606.
MENIFEE: In Riverside County, a Dr. Seuss float parade and surprise entrance by the Cat in the Hat are part of Friday’s happenings at Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary, 28880 Reviere Drive, Menifee, 92584. The cat will suddenly appear during a 7:40 a.m. rally; special readings at all grade levels are 8:15-10 a.m.; the first-grade Dr. Seuss float parade is 10:15-10:50 a.m., followed by a final 12:30 p.m. assembly with the Cat in the Hat. Students can win books and other prizes. Contact: Kathy Duarte at 951-852-6349.
TEMECULA: From 9:30-11 a.m., numerous community and high school student volunteers will read to kids at Nicolas Valley Elementary, 39600 N. General Kearny Road, Temecula, 92591, on Friday. Guest readers will be from the Temecula Valley Education Association, the Valley Winds (a local community band), Camp Pendleton Marines, the school PTA and administrators. Other readers include students from an AP Government class and scholar-athletes from Chaparral High School. Contact: Randy Arnayro at 619-218-0772.
FONTANA and SAN BERNARDINO: CTA Board member Jose Alcala, a teacher in Moreno Valley Unified, will join other special readers in the morning Friday at Jurupa Vista Elementary, 15920 Village Drive East, Fontana, in Colton Joint Unified School District. In the afternoon, he will read to kids at Riley Elementary, 1266 North G St. in San Bernardino City Unified School District. Contact: Jose Alcala at 951-238-7127.
SAN BERNARDINO: On Thursday, Feb. 28, kindergarten students will celebrate Read Across America with activities at Lytle Creek Elementary, 275 South K St. in San Bernardino,92410. The day includes enjoying a meal of green eggs and ham in honor of Dr. Seuss. This is a Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) school, receiving extra funds to help at-risk students under this CTA-sponsored law. Contact: Nancy Glenn at 909-388-6382.
Sampling of Northern California Read Across America Events March 1
MARTINEZ: From 8:30-9:30 a.m. Friday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will read to third-graders at Morello Park Elementary, a “California Distinguished School” at 1200 Morello Park Drive, Martinez, 94553. The event will take place in the school library. Superintendent Rami Muth, parents, school board members and David Eliaser, president of the Martinez Education Association, will take part. Contacts: Mike Myslinski at CTA, 408-921-5769; Paul Hefner at California Department of Education, 916-319-0818.
PINOLE: Terri Jackson won’t have to travel far to celebrate reading Friday. A member of the CTA Board of Directors, she will read from 9-10:30 a.m. to her sixth-grade students co-taught by teaching partner Kristyn Loy at Stewart K-8 School, 2040 Hoke Drive, Pinole, 94564. Contact: Terri Jackson at 707-372-3041.
RICHMOND: From 11:20 a.m. to 1 p.m., a cozy student “read-in” with teachers dressed as Cat in the Hat and students sipping hot chocolate is planned in the cafeteria at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, 94805. The price of “admission” is to check out a library book ahead of time. Contact: School librarian Grace Murphy-Jenkins at 510-231-1430, ext. 25094.
FREMONT: A week of Fremont Unified reading-related activities ends Friday morning as teachers and other readers treat kids at Niles Elementary to Dr. Seuss books and other exciting works. Time is 9-11 a.m. Friday. Brannin Dorsey, president of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association, will join in the fun, which will spread to several district elementary campuses Friday. Contact: Brannin Dorsey at 510-331-1663.
OAKLAND: From 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, Trish Gorham, the president of the Oakland Education Association, will join other volunteers reading to students at Piedmont Elementary, 4314 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, 94611, in the Oakland Unified School District. Contact: Trish Gorham at 510-332-9103.
OAKLAND: From 10 a.m. to 1:30 Friday, volunteer guest readers will be reading to elementary students at New Highland Academy, 8521 A Street, Oakland, 94621, in Oakland Unified. This is a Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) school, receiving extra funds to help at-risk students under this CTA-sponsored law. Contact: Julie Palacios at 510-759-3542.
SAN RAMON: Most San Ramon Valley Unified schools are geared up for reading events Friday. For example, Creekside Elementary will be having teachers dressed as Cat in the Hat and students wearing pajamas all day, while Coyote Creek Elementary is having a full day of reading-related celebrations. San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) President Darren Day will read to students most of the day at Bollinger Canyon Elementary, 2300 Talavera Drive. SRVEA Vice President Ann Katzburg will join readers in the early morning at Coyote Creek, at Hidden Hills Elementary from 10 a.m. to noon, and at Creekside in the afternoon. For district-wide details, contact: Ann Katzburg at 925-413-9258.
SANTA CLARA: From 9-10 a.m. Friday, ex-San Francisco 49er defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield, local police officers, players from the Stanford University women’s soccer team and men’s football program will join other guest readers at Laurelwood Elementary School, 955 Teal Drive, Santa Clara, 95051. Capping a week of reading activities, the Santa Clara Unified School District school will display a huge paper chain with each link made by a student or teacher who wrote the title of their favorite book on it – the chain has grown to 650 links. Contact: Principal Joy Shmueli at 408-423-1601.
SAN JOSE: From 8:30 to 9 a.m. Friday, a “reading wave” will wash over Valle Vista Elementary as every student in every classroom reads a favorite book. Also, it is pajama day at the school at 2400 Flint Ave., San Jose, 95148, in the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District. Fifth-graders will be reading to kindergartners as well. Contact: Lisa Kattenhorn at 408-239-6243.
MONTEREY COUNTY: Kids will be served up green eggs and ham at Ord Terrace Elementary, 1755 La Salle Ave., Seaside, 93955, as they celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading. Volunteer readers will include Allyson Schweifler, president of the Monterey Bay Teachers Association. Contact: Allyson Schweifler at 831-521-4998.
SALINAS: On Thursday, Feb. 28, CTA Board member Gayle Bilek will read to students at Boronda Meadows Elementary School, 915 Larkin St., Salinas, 93907. The daylong reading celebration is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact: Gayle Bilek at 805-712-6676.
STOCKTON: On Thursday, Feb. 28, more than 200 volunteer readers are expected to visit every K-3rd grade class in the Stockton Unified School District as part of the annual Rotary Club read-in. The reading events will take place simultaneously in 18 schools beginning at 10 a.m. Signers, Spanish-speaking readers and even a therapy dog will be visiting classrooms for the hour-long read-in. In addition, Rotary members and the volunteers will be donating books to the district. For addresses, contact Dianne Barth, communications director, Stockton Unified, at 209-933-7025 or on cell, 209-479-5302.
SACRAMENTO: At about 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, on the Assembly Floor, Joan Buchanan, chair of the Assembly Education Committee, will present a resolution to CTA Board member Toby Boyd, a Sacramento educator, to declare Friday Read Across America Day in the state. Read the resolution at this link. CTA contact: Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1551.
SACRAMENTO: On Friday morning, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will read to students at Mark Hopkins Elementary, 2221 Matson Drive, Sacramento, 95822. Her alma mater is the school district’s C.K. McClatchy High, where she recently gave an inspiring talk to students. She will address all Mark Hopkins students at an 8:15 a.m. assembly, then read to a class. Joining her is Judge Vance W. Raye, presiding justice of the California Third District Court of Appeal. Other readers are planned as well. Contact: Janet Weeks, communications manager for Sacramento City Unified School District, at 916-643-9043.
AUBURN: Teachers and volunteers will read to students at Rock Creek Elementary, 3050 Bell Road in Auburn, 95603. Friday will be pajama day for students. The day starts with a green eggs and ham breakfast for some students from 9:30-10:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the Auburn Union School District school board president, Daniel Berlant, will read – he is a firefighter and will be reading in uniform. Superintendent Michele Schuetz will read at 10:45 a.m. Educators doing special readings will include Lysa Sassman, vice president of Auburn Union Teachers Association. Contact: Lysa Sassman at 916-813-2319.
MADERA: Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, John Adams Elementary, 1822 National Ave., Madera, 93637, plans to host a "Celebrity Reader Day." Members of the community will come and read to classrooms and they'll even have the Cat in the Hat running around with Thing One and Thing Two. Contact: Marlo Diaz-Haupt at 559-674-4631.
MANTECA: Several Manteca schools will be participating Friday in the national Read Across America celebration. Among them are Great Valley, Veritas, Golden West, Stella Brockman, Brock Elliott and Shasta schools. Special readers will include school trustee Deborah Romero, City Councilman Steve DeBrume, Fire Chief Kirk Waters and Joe Kriskovich from City of Manteca Administrative Services. Contact: Manteca Educators Association President Ken Johnson at 209-603-3767.
MERCED: Students are celebrating reading all week at Tenaya Middle School, 760 West 8th St., Merced, 95340. One event involves kids going to the Library Media Center daily to answer multiple choice questions about a book by Dr. Seuss, with right answers winning prizes. Contact: Teacher Librarian Claudia Speziale at 209-385-6687.
The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.