Read Across America Day kicks into high gear - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Read Across America Day kicks into high gear

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

 JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - You could hear laughter and see smiles inside nearly every classroom at Poindexter Elementary School in Jackson Tuesday morning. And the commotion was all about reading.

It was all part of "Read Across America" Day, which encourages schools to hold special events to show students that reading can be fun.

At Poindexter, teachers dressed up like student's favorite characters from books.  

"It's kind of funny, so I want to read about these characters," said Tinisha Reed, a Poindexter 5th grader and one of the schools top readers.

"At this age group, when they see their teachers, in a different perspective, dressed up as characters, their eyes light up," said Barbara Moore, who dressed as the Cat in the Hat. She also works with America Reads Mississippi and is an assistant teacher and site supervisor at Poindexter.

There were also were special appearances from celebrity readers, like folks from WLBT. Poindexter is one of channel 3's adopted schools. 

WLBT folks also read to students at Saint Andrew's Episcopal School in Jackson. Mississippi's First Lady, Marsha Barbour, also encouraged students there to hit the books.

According to Poindexter librarian Debra Sikes, Read Across America can have a major impact on a child's life.

"So today might be the day that makes a big difference for a child that before may have been a reluctant reader, and all of a sudden, now they went, oh! And the light bulb went off, and that's the best kind of a day," said Sikes.

Spearheaded by the National Association of Educators, Read Across America is especially important in Mississippi which has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country.

"It should not be just a one day thing, we need to make sure our children are reading all the time, that they have the basic skills they need to be successful, and today highlights that- what a great day," said Kevin Gilbert, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators.

And every year, the day lands on Dr. Seuss' birthday.

"Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss, and read, read, read!" said Moore.

The push to get kids to hit the books was started by the National Association of Educators over 10 years ago.

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