By Sheri Miyamoto
Imagine a pot of bubbly goodness and the aroma of spices on the stove. It’s a hint that Read Across America (RAA) is in the air. This year’s spotlighted book, Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman, is the “basic stock” for California’s 2010 RAA theme, “Serve Up a Good Book.” The story is about an armadillo who asks her friends to help her make some chili and discovers that her chili tastes better when it’s shared with friends.
Launched by NEA in 1997, Read Across America has become a reading celebration that has grown annually with thousands of creative events hosted across the nation. It’s celebrated each year on or near March 2, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.
This year’s honorary California co-chairs are Armadilly Chili’s book illustrator Will Terry and Los Angeles chef and caterer Paul McCullough. Will Terry has illustrated 20 children’s books and teaches illustration part time at his local community college in Utah. McCullough has been a guest chef on “Extra” and the Fine Living Network and appeared in Season 3 of “The Next Food Network Star.”
CTA members can access RAA art and materials through the CTA website (www.cta.org/community/Read+Across+America). In addition, books, plush, stickers, pencils, chili mugs, rubber stamps and RAA T-shirts will be available for purchase at upcoming CTA conferences, as well as at our new CTA Read Across America Online Store at www.ctareadacrossamerica.com.
CTA welcomes the Los Angeles County Fire Department to our family of partners! Returning partners include the American Federation of
Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Barnes & Noble, the California Library Association, the California School Library Association, California Professional Firefighters, the Los Angeles Dodgers Dream Foundation, First Financial Credit Union, Scholastic, See’s Candies, and Will Terry.
Here’s Your Shopping List!
• Remind your principal about the event and refer him or her to the CTA or NEA website (www.nea.org/readacross) for additional information and ideas. If March 2 conflicts with your school calendar, arrange your celebration for another day that week or even the week before or after.
• Consult your school librarian, who may have event ideas and resources to offer.
• Invite “guest readers” to visit your school and read to students. Visits from police officers, firefighters, radio/television personalities, athletes, political figures and other community members can make a big impression on young people. Ask your guests to tell your students why reading is important in their lives and what their favorite books were when they were children.
• Share your plans with your colleagues. Pledge to participate on the NEA website and keep your local association office informed of what you’re doing at your school. Let your local media outlets and education reporters know about your event.