FEB. 27, 2001
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

Alumni volunteers help "Read Across America"

California State University, Bakersfield alumni volunteers and Bakersfield radio personalities will be reading books to children to celebrate Read Across America Day on Friday (March 1) from 3 to 7 p.m. at Russo's Books in The Marketplace.

Read Across America, sponsored by the National Education Association, is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for children across the nation to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss's birthday.

This is the fifth year of the reading program, said NEA President Bob Chase. Leading the event as this year's chairman is country music star Garth Brooks, who will travel to Washington, D.C., to join Chase for a morning of reading with children at the Library of Congress.

Other events across the country include breakfasts of green eggs and ham, reading relays, birthday parties for Dr. Seuss, choral readings, museum exhibits, state and local proclamations, readings by sports, music, theater and media celebrities, and by politicians.

The event came about when a small NEA task force in May 1997 came up with the idea for a national day to celebrate reading. The group said that schools hold pep rallies to get people excited about football games; why not do something to get kids excited about reading? So the first Read Across America was held on March 2, 1998.

CSUB alumni wanted to participate in the project, so teamed up with Russo's books and KUZZ radio personalities for Friday's event.

"Providing children with motivation to read is an important factor in student achievements and creating successful, lifelong learners," said Jill Ford, CSUB's director of Alumni Relations. "Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in schools."

For more information about Read Across America Day, please call the CSUB Alumni Association at 664-3211, or Russo's Books at 665-4686.

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