FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BURLINGAME – Members of the California Teachers Association will celebrate reading at hundreds of public school events Thursday to mark the ninth anniversary of the National Education Association's "Read Across America," involving millions of students, parents and teachers nationwide.
The reading motivation program calls on every child in every community to celebrate reading on or around the March 2 birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss. Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member CTA, will join the union's other top officers at reading events in Southern California that reflect this year's state theme: "Happy Readers Come from California…Got Books?"
"Reading is the foundation of learning, and teachers see the value of good reading skills for students every day," Kerr said. "We know that when children open a book, they really do open their minds to the joys of reading and learning."
Media events in dozens of California cities can be found on the NEA website at this link:
Media should verify all events on this website in advance. For media planning purposes, here is a sampling of verified Read Across America events on Thursday, March 2:
Inglewood, 9-10:15 a.m. Thursday, Bennett-Kew Elementary School, 11710 S. Cherry Avenue: CTA President Barbara E. Kerr will be joined by California Read Across America Honorary Chairperson Keke Palmer, star of "Akeelah and the Bee." The film, to be released April 28, is the heartwarming story of a precocious girl from South Los Angeles whose determination takes her to the National Spelling Bee. Kerr and Palmer will team up with noted children's book illustrator Steve Gray ("Farmer McPeepers and His Missing Milk Cows"), who will greet 140 first- graders and provide them with a hands-on art lesson on drawing the mischievous cows after they hear the story read aloud. David Brennan will also be on hand to bring greetings from the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Read Across America sponsor. The students will receive free books courtesy of Scholastic and Barnes and Noble. Contact Sheri Miyamoto: 310-505-7993 (cell).
Burbank, 9-9:15 a.m., Bret Harte Elementary School, 3200 W. Jeffries: CTA Vice President David A. Sanchez will read with 10 firefighters from the Burbank Fire Department. Sanchez also reads at Burbank's nearby Joaquin Miller Elementary, 720 E. Providencia Ave., from 11:15-11:30 a.m.
Lake Forest in Orange County, 11:30 a.m.-Noon., Rancho Canada Elementary School, 21801 Winding Way: CTA Secretary-Treasurer Dean Vogel and Nick Baradino, the general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, will read to classes. Contact Maggie Briskie: 949-768-5252.
Los Angeles, 9-11:30 a.m., Airport Hilton, 5711 W. Century Blvd: The Hilton will host 300 students from Hawthorne, Lennox, Lawndale, and Long beach for a breakfast read-in, with small group readings by hotel staff, performances by the Mira Costa High School Drama Club, and a book giveaway by Barnes and Noble. Contact Dennis Ritz: 310-410-4000.
Compton, 9 a.m.-3 p.m, Roosevelt Middle School, 1200 E. Alondra Blvd: A star-studded day with celebrities who will read to 1,000 students bused in from seven elementary schools. Scheduled guests include Natasha Henstridge ("Commander in Chief"), Rhea Perlman ("Cheers"), Nana Gbewonyo ("Coach Carter"), Chris Jones ("Big Momma's House 2"), Sanaa Lathan ("Something New" movie), Johnny Alves ("Invincible"), Tom Kenney (voice of "Spongebob"), and many others. Contact Marie Truby, 310-638-8576, or Gary Moskovitz: 818-631-4279.
San Diego, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Hickman Elementary, 10850 Montongo Street: Guest readers will join parents and teachers wearing Dr. Seuss hats in reading to students, who will receive Dr. Seuss stickers. Contact Doni Mitchell-Ricks: 858-271-5210.
Bakersfield: Members of the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association will be reading from 3-5:30 p.m. Thursday at eight locations: The Boys and Girls Club, Bakersfield Homeless Center, Holloway-Gonzalez Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Northeast Branch Library, Police Activities League Center, Jamieson Center and the East Bakersfield Community Center. Contact BETA President Carol Reichert: 661-327-4567.
Fresno County, all day on Friday, March 3, Fipps Primary School, 21320 S. Feland Ave., Riverdale: Pajama Day for students and teachers at this K-3 school, where reading will be celebrated with special events with a Dr. Seuss flare. Contact teacher Donna Dreith: 559-867-3353.
San Jose, 9:30 a.m., 12:45-2:15 p.m., Schallenberger Elementary, 1280 Koch Lane: Teachers wearing Cat in the Hat hats and Dr. Seuss ties will join parents in reading to students, who will take a special oath about the importance of reading. Contact teacher Maria Jorgensen: 408-535-6253.
Oakland, 8:25 a.m.-2:40 p.m., Fruitvale Elementary, 3200 Boston Ave.: Full day of events begins with breakfast of green eggs and ham. Day includes a read-a-thon, students making posters based on Dr. Seuss books, and teachers in creative hats. Contact teacher Rosenda Thomas: 510-879-1170.
Santa Rosa, 8:20 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Wright Elementary, 4389 Price. Ave.: Green eggs and ham will be served as part of the Student Council's "Rip-Roarin' Read-O-Rama," a day of students and teachers reading to students, and of guest readers. Contact teacher Harmony Gooch: 707-542-0556.
Sacramento, 4 p.m., North Natomas Public Library, located at Inderkum High School, 2500 New Market Drive: Students and teachers are taking part in the kickoff of a month-long literacy event at the libraries serving the Natomas area. Children pick up a "passport" to travel in the area to answer six trivia questions based on visiting local businesses and reading certain books. Kids can win prizes. Contact Vicki Rondeau at 916-567-5431, or go to www.northnatomasfriends.org.