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By Julian Peeples

California educators, students, parents and elected leaders joined millions nationwide yesterday in celebrating the wonder of reading as part of NEA’s 25th annual Read Across America.

President E. Toby Boyd reads to Tahoe Elementary School students

CTA President E. Toby Boyd is one of many educators and leaders across the state (and nation) who took time yesterday to read aloud to students, visiting Tahoe Elementary School in Sacramento. He read two books from this year’s CTA California Reads recommended reading list: “Eyes that Kiss in the Corners” by Joanna Ho (illustrator Dung Ho) and “I Color Myself Different” by Colin Kaepernick (illustrator Eric Wilkerson).

CTA at the State Assembly! From left, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Chauncey Boyd, CTA President E. Toby Boyd and CTA California Reads Chair Lisa Hickman.

A kindergarten teacher, Boyd understands the importance of instilling the love of reading in children at an early age.

“Reading is a gift that lasts a lifetime,” said Boyd. “When children see successful adults reading to them, our hope is that they too see reading as a way to cultivate leadership.”

Boyd and California Reads Committee Chair Lisa Hickman joined elected officials in the Assembly and State Senate to accept proclamations acknowledging Read Across America, the importance of literacy and to celebrate the limitless worlds one can explore in a good book.


Reading has a special place in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s heart – the governor has previously shared his personal challenges with dyslexia and how teachers helped support his learning. His children’s book about dyslexia, “Ben and Emma’s Big Hit,” was a #CaliforniaReads recommendation last year.

“I know from my own challenges with dyslexia that when we help children read, we help them succeed,” Newsom said. “That’s why California is making transformational investments to improve student literacy. While other states attack educators and undermine students, California is putting in the work to ensure our children thrive.”

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Oakland Education Association Acting President Ismael Armendariz celebrated reading at Oakland Academy of Knowledge.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis joined the fun, reading a story about civic activism to students at Oakland Academy of Knowledge.

“There’s something magical about a library, especially a children’s library,” Kounalakis said.

Associated Calexico Teachers celebrated Read Across America Day with posters and bookmarks for students, as well as a book donation and proclamation from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella).

Additional Read Across America events are scheduled for this weekend and next week in locations including Chico and Alhambra. Click here for more information about Read Across America.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis with students at Oakland Academy of Knowledge.

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