California’s 20th Annual ‘Read Across America’ Is Thursday ~ Teachers, Students, Parents & Celebrities Celebrate Joys of Reading

Burlingame, CA…California’s public school educators will join a nationwide celebration of reading on Thursday, March 2, as they meet up with parents, city officials, firefighters and TV and movie actors at events statewide for the National Education Association’s 20th annual “Read Across America” extravaganza.

Millions of people across the nation will take part in the reading celebration, as will thousands of California educators and students. The event is always held on or near the March 2 birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel.

“When a child learns to read and walks through the wonderful doors of the imagination that good books always open, they can become lifelong learners,” said Eric Heins, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Reading skills are the foundation of all learning.”

In addition, CTA is celebrating reading year-round with its “California Reads” project. This project includes teacher-recommended books for all age groups. To see outstanding books – and to read tips in eight languages on how to make children better readers – get the full story about California Reads, along with reading tips, a poster, bookmarks, and this year’s highlighted books, at

Media can see more pledged California events here, but must confirm them. Below is a sampling of confirmed California events on Thursday, March 2, unless otherwise noted:

Events With Top CTA Officers on Thursday, March 2:

PITTSBURG: From 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, CTA President Eric Heins will read to students in his home school district of Pittsburg Unified in the East Bay. He will read from “We Forgot Brock” by Carter Goodrich, about a boy who searches for his lost imaginary friend. CTA Board member and East Bay teacher Terri Jackson will be joining him in the festivities at Highlands Elementary, 4141 Harbor St., Pittsburg, 94565. CTA Contact: Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769.

FAIRFIELD: From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño will be reading to several groups of students at Laurel Creek Elementary, 2900 Gulf Drive, Fairfield, 94533. CTA Contact: Cyndi Menzel at 650-380-8553.

LOS ANGELES: Starting at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, CTA Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg will join the reading celebrations in LAUSD at Micheltorena Street Elementary, 1511 Micheltorena St., Los Angeles, 90026. The school will also hold a community “Read Across America” night of activities beginning at 5 p.m. Contact: Teacher Ana Ramos-Sanavio, 323-661-2125.

Sampling of Northern California Read Across America Events

SACRAMENTO: At 9 a.m. Thursday, CTA Board members Susan Green and Toby Boyd will accept a special resolution about literacy and Read Across America day on behalf of CTA in the Assembly chambers at the Capitol. The resolution is from Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell, chair of the Assembly Education Committee. CTA contact: Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087.

SAN FRANCISCO: From 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, a crowd of 50 city officials, community members, parents, and retired teachers will gather at Sunset Elementary, 1920 41st Ave., for their annual read-aloud day. Guest readers include San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang; Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White; City Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu; SFUSD Board of Education Commissioners Shamann Walton, Emily Murase, and Mark Sanchez; and Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh. Featured books will include “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” Contact: Principal Sophie Lee at 415-759-2760.

ALAMEDA: From 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Thursday, many exciting reading events are taking place at Bay Farm Elementary, 200 Aughinbaugh Way, Alameda, 94502. The events for all students include live-streaming online. Various Alameda Unified schools will be participating. K-1 students will be reading “Hop on Pop” this year, and grades 2-5 will be playing live online trivia challenges about about Dr. Seuss. The local community guest readers and student trivia events are all related to Dr. Seuss books and characters. Watch online events planned here. Contact: Roxanne Clement at 510-748-4010, ext. 1501, or

CALISTOGA: Thursday will once again be an all-day celebration of reading at Calistoga Elementary, 1327 Berry St., Calistoga, 94515. It’s also Pajama Day, and guest readers will include the mayor. The Soroptimist International club of Calistoga donates three books every year to every student to help them build “home libraries.” More information is at Contact the school at 707-942-4398.

FREMONT: As a week of Fremont Unified School District reading-related activities continues, school board member Michele Berke will read at 11 a.m. Thursday to kindergarteners at Parkmont Elementary, 2601 Parkside Drive, Fremont, 94536. Also, it’s mismatched socks and shoes day. Contact: Teacher Brannin Dorsey, 510-331-1663.

NEWARK: From 9:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, several guest readers will entertain kids at John F. Kennedy Elementary, 35430 Blackburn Drive, Newark, 94560. Contact the school at 510-818-3400.

SAN MATEO: From 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, CTA Board member Greg Bonaccorsi will be reading to students as part of the activities at Fiesta Gardens International Elementary School, 1001 Bermuda Drive, San Mateo, 94403. Contact the school at 650-312-7737.

SALINAS: CTA Board member Gayle Bilek will read to students starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Oscar F. Loya Elementary School, 1505 Cougar Drive, Salinas, 93905. Contact: Principal Diana Garcia at 831-751-1945.

Sampling of Central and Southern California Read Across America Events

COMPTON: From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, hundreds of students will take part in the “Compton Reads to Kids Day: Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” extravaganza co-sponsored by the Compton Education Association and the Compton Unified School District. Actors dressed as famous movie and book characters – including Batman, Queen Elsa of “Frozen,” Captain America and Moana – will read to kids coming from many district schools. CTA Board members Margie Granado and Sergio Martinez will join the guest readers in the district board room at 501 South Santa Fe Ave., Compton, 90221. Contact: CEA President Emmanuel Taton at 310-638-8576.

COMPTON: Dozens of TV and movie actors are scheduled to read at Tibby K-8 School, 1432 W. Poplar St., Compton, 90220, a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. Those actors committed to treating these students on Thursday as guest readers include Aina Dumlao from “MacGyver,” Lindy Booth of “The Librarians,” Jonathan Joss and Lilan Bowden of “Parks and Recreation,” and Jordan Fry from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Readings will go from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: Principal Ontrece Ellerbe at 310-898-6370.

BURBANK: All morning Thursday starting at 8 a.m., students will meet firefighters and other guest readers at Washington Elementary, 2322 N. Lincoln St., Burbank, 91504. In one first-grade class, kids will be read to by Burbank Teachers Association (BTA) President Diana Abasta and Eric Rowley, president of the Burbank firefighters union. Other firefighters will read to other grades, and books will include the CTA-recommended “We Forgot Brock.” On Thursday night, BTA is asking the school board to pass a resolution supporting Read Across America Day and urging parents to instill a love of reading in their children. Contact: BTA President Diana Abasta at 818-469-3103.

SAN DIEGO: Walker Elementary School is holding reading events all week. On Thursday, the school hosts numerous guest readers from the community and a VIP luncheon for students heralded as top readers. Kids will also dress up as their favorite book characters at the school, 9225 Hillery Drive, San Diego, 92126. Events are from 7:45-11:30 a.m. Readers include San Diego Education Association President Lindsay Burningham, city council members, school board member John Lee Evans, and local authors. The community is also invited to a 4-7 p.m. event at Mira Mesa’s Barnes and Noble bookstore to help raise money for Walker Elementary to buy books. Contacts: Teacher Grace Nall or Principal Justin Phillips at 858-271-8050.

SIMI VALLEY: On Saturday, March 4, the Simi Educators Association and the Simi Valley Public Library team up to present a “Hats Off to Reading” event at the local library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley, 93063. Activities being held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. include readings by educators and community members, crafts for children, performances by students, visits by Dr. Seuss characters, and door prizes. Contact: Simi Educators Association President Amanda Hogan at 805-526-5668.

BAKERSFIELD: On Thursday, Bakersfield City School District educators will hold “Read 2 Children” Day at homeless shelters and community centers like the Boys and Girls Club after school. Teachers will read to children and hand out free books they’ve been collecting. Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association (BETA) President Steve Comstock was interviewed in this TV news clip of the BETA book fair and reading celebration held on Saturday. Contact: BETA President Steve Comstock at 661-327-4567.

MADERA: Local community leaders will read all day starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at John Adams Elementary, 1822 National Ave., Madera, 93637. Students are invited to wear their favorite hats, and kindergarteners will stage a 2 p.m. parade. The events cap a week of celebrating reading in the district. Contact: Teacher Cecelia Foley at 559-674-4631.