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Read Across America in April!

April is Poetry Month and the month we celebrate Earth Day. What could be better than composing an ode to the Earth and sharing poetry to celebrate the wonderful diversity of our planet?

For Younger Readers

RIVERS OF SUNLIGHT: HOW THE SUN MOVES WATER AROUND THE EARTH by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (The Blue Sky Press, 2017)

The sun tells of its important role in the water cycle and asks for help in keeping Earth

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Use reading to explore ways to live responsibly and as a way for kids to learn about and get close to nature. Head outside with other titles in Molly Bang Sunlight series and get a conversation going with kids about ways they can help care for the Earth. Start with talking about small efforts, like picking up trash in your school yard, and build up to investigating needs in your community and issues kids are passionate about.

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For Middle Grade Readers

OUT OF WONDER: POEMS CELEBRATING POETS by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Candlewick, 2017)
These original poems

Read, Discuss and Explore:

OUT OF WONDER: POEMS CELEBRATING POETS introduces students to the idea of creating original art or poetry in honor, celebration, or appreciation of another writer, poet, or artist. Have students consider the poems and poets presented in the book. Which poems make them curious to explore more about the poet being celebrated? Encourage students to research and read more about that poet and the poetry he or she created. Have them think about how the poem in Out of Wonder pays homage to the original poet. Ask them to write their own poems celebrating the poet they

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For Young Adult Readers

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon (Random House ChildrenDaniel, who is trying to live up to the high expectations of his Korean immigrant parents, has an interview for Yale. Natasha, whose family is about to be deported to Jamaica, is looking for a way to stay. They meet by chance in love over the course of 12 hours in New York City.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

When Natasha an Daniel meet, their lives become inexplicably intertwined. How did Natasha, who believes in facts, not fate, connect with Daniel, whose passion is poetry? The way that we form connections with other people can have positive or negative consequences. Get students talking about how the characters in the book make connections or feel disconnected. What did or could change how they feel? Ask students to explore their own interconnectedness. Have students write and share a slice-of-life poem about a small interaction that brightened their day.

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Additional Resources

Read Across America Featured Partner

Libraries aren National Library Week, April 8-14, 2018, is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of librarieschool, public, academic and specialarticipate. Join the American Library Association

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Supporting Pre-Service Teachers
Welcome to Supporting Pre-Service Teachers! This group is for educators who work with and support pre-service teachers. Pre-Service and Early Career teachers will also benefit from joining this group. Mentors and cooperating teachers are strongly encouraged to join! Notes of encouragement, sharing of resources, good articles, and venting is welcome too. This group is solutions driven - the goal is to find realistic solutions to support our pre-service and cooperating teachers and address any concerns and questions that come up.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


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Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!

NEA's Read Across America: Building a Nation of Readers

Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Teacher Day
May 7, 2019

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 6-10, 2019

American Education Week
November 11-15, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020