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December 22, 2015

Joining Forces for Read Across America Day

Embracing Our Differences (EOD) is a not-for-profit organization that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual art exhibition and a series of educational initiatives, programs and resources for teachers and students. On March 2, 2016, EOD and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading will join hands, hearts and minds to bring the National Education Association’s Read Across America day to children and families in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

March 2nd is the birthday of renowned and beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss. EOD has sponsored Read Across America for the past four years in Sarasota County, calling it Embracing Dr. Seuss’ Differences Day. Joining with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading enables the two organizations—with support from The Patterson Foundation, the School District of Manatee County, Sarasota County Schools, the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, the Community Foundation of Sarasota Country, the United Way of Manatee County, First Book and scores of dedicated volunteers—to expand to preschools in both Manatee and Sarasota counties and elementary schools in Manatee County.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the United Way of Manatee County will raise money from local businesses and citizens to “adopt a classroom.” Through this effort, many children in Title I schools will receive their own copies of the Dr. Seuss book that was read aloud in their classrooms during Read Across America.

Reading aloud is the single most important activity leading to language development and the strongest predictor of reading success. Embracing Our Differences and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading “embrace” the idea of families reading aloud on a daily basis and building home libraries that will inspire both parents and children to love reading every day of the year.

Embracing Our Differences has created a special page for classroom teachers to register: Dr. Seuss – Teacher Registration, and a separate page for volunteer readers to register: Dr. Seuss – Volunteer Registration.

To contribute monetarily by adopting a classroom, please contact Beth Duda at

Working together, we can reach the goal of all children reading at grade-level by the end of 3rd grade. And we can have a lot of fun doing it. As Dr. Seuss himself said, “You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

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