Life in the state’s quiet corner is usually…well, relatively quiet. But beginning the week of February 26, things will be shaken up for students in six northeastern Connecticut towns. Starting that Monday, students will participate in the Connecticut Education Foundation’s Read Across America Reading Bus Tour. The Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF), the nonprofit arm of the Connecticut Education Association, is hosting the weeklong literacy event and providing guest readers, activities, and free books to nearly 1,000 students in Plainfield, Putnam, Sterling, Killingly, Brooklyn, and Thompson.
Giving the gift of reading
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.
“This bus tour is an exciting way to educate children about the importance of reading and help them develop good reading skills,” said CEF President and CEA Vice President Jeff Leake. “It gives them an opportunity to select a free book and bring it home.”
Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program started by the National Education Association (NEA) that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The event has been so well received that it has expanded from a one-day celebration into a weeklong reading event with more than 45 million students, parents, and teachers participating in reading parties, community read-ins, activities, character parades, book fairs, and more.
“Every year, teachers create Seuss-tastic ideas to motivate their students to read, and with the CEF Reading Bus Tour, we ensure that students in rural communities have books of their own with resources and activities to help instill a love of reading,” said Leake. “Events like these are critical to students in our schools. There’s no more important gift than literacy.”
The CEF Reading Bus Tour Schedule
Day 1: Monday, February 26 at 8:15 a.m., the CEF Reading Bus Tour rolls into Putnam. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., special guest readers, including the Mayor of Putnam, will read the Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You’ll Go to Putnam Elementary School fourth grade students. The theme for the event is kindness, and the free books that are distributed will focus on stories that promote acts of kindness. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will also make surprise appearances.
Putnam Elementary School
33 Wicker Street
8:15 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Day 2: Tuesday, February 27, the CEF Reading Bus Tour rolls into Thompson to give the gift of reading to hundreds of students at the Mary Fisher Elementary School. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., guest readers will read Up the Learning Tree, by Marcia Vaughan.
Mary Fischer Elementary School
785 Riverside Drive
9:30 a.m. – noon
Day 3: Wednesday, February 28, the CEF Reading Bus Tour rolls into Brooklyn in the morning and Sterling in the afternoon. From 8:45 to 11:30 a.m., students at Brooklyn Elementary School will hear the book Junkyard Wonders, by Patricia Polacco. The school is focusing the Read Across America week events on anti-bullying and spreading kindness messages.
The second stop on Wednesday is at the Sterling Community School. Beginning at 1 p.m., the school’s reading specialist will read Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco.
Brooklyn Elementary School
119 Gorman Road
8:45 a.m. – noon
Sterling Community School
251 Sterling Road
1 – 2:20 p.m.
Day 4: Thursday, March 1, students at Killingly Memorial School will welcome the CEF Reading Bus Tour. Beginning at 9 a.m., students will hear stories focusing on kindness and participate in a variety of hands-on activities.
Killingly Memorial School
339 Main Street
9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Day 5: Friday, March 2, after covering 100 miles and five northeastern Connecticut towns, the CEF Reading Bus Tour will make its final stop in Plainfield at 8:15 a.m. Students at Plainfield Memorial School will celebrate Dr. Seusss birthday with special events, crafts, and aa reading of the story Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco. The theme of the day is perseverance and grit.
Plainfield Memorial School
95 Canterbury Road
8:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
CEF is working with radio partner WINY 1350am to promote the Reading Bus Tour highlighting the importance of reading, and the Plainfield Public School System, which owns the bus and generously provided it for the week-long event.
Watch CEA Executive Director Donald Williams, Jr. Speak to NBC30 About the Read Across America Bus Tour