February 11, 2022

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan discuss the importance of reading.

March 2 is Read Across America

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day, launched in 1997, is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American artist, book publisher, animator, poet, a political cartoonist as well as an author. He is best known for authoring over 60 children’s books.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA's Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages.

Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school but 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.

Teachers across the country are seeing more and more students struggle with reading this school year. Pandemic school closures and remote instruction made learning to read much harder, especially for young, low-income students who didn’t have adequate technology at home or an adult who could assist them during the day. Many older students lost the daily habit of reading.

Even before the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of U.S. students were unable to read at grade level. Scores had been getting worse for several years. The pandemic made a bad situation worse.

We can always count on kids to see the issues and set out to make a difference.

In this segment, we take a look at a few more Giving Tuesday Spark Leaders who share how they are making a difference…

Billy Toms, age 9, Chicago, Illinois - Billy is a third grader in Chicago Public Schools and thinks that everyone, no matter what their age, has the power to do big things to make our world a better place. He spends his weekends making bagged lunches and giving them to the hungry. He also volunteers with New Moms, a nonprofit that helps young moms and their babies on the west side of Chicago.

Jordyn Webb, age 12, Las Vegas, Nevada - Jordyn empowers, inspires and uplifts girls and raises awareness and funds for his local food bank to help put an end to childhood hunger. His recent Bag Childhood Hunger campaign raised almost $2 million! He was honored by Three Square for his work in raising enough funds to provide over 6,000 meals to hungry children in my community during spring break.

The Neff Family, ages 17, 15, 14, and 11, South Dakota

Giving is a family affair for the Neff family.

Abby, 17, the creator of Recycled Rainbows creates new and specialized crayons from used and unwanted crayons for undeserved youth and people with disabilities.

Riley, 15, the co-founder of Recycled Rainbows and creator of Caring with Creativity that. Caring with Creativity is a community service outreach initiative that uses creative resources to empower girls and show that you don't have to do just one thing to make a difference.

Bria, 14, is the creator of Faces of the Endangered is a wildlife artist that uses her time and talents to paint a face to disappearing species across the globe. She has painted over 300 species of animals and has helped raise over $70,000 for charities and non-profits that work at protecting animals worldwide.

North, 11, has been providing the Humane Society with essential dog food and supplies and makes decorated milk bones for the dogs to enjoy on special days.