February 25, 2022

“All Are Welcome” to Join in Virginia Beach Read Across America Day Event!

Featuring virtual read with City Manager Patrick Duhaney and guests

​The City of Virginia Beach will join the National Education Association for a Read Across America Day celebration on March 4. More than 332 early education classrooms will participate in a virtual read to over 6,000 students in 83 Virginia Beach early education programs. City Manager Patrick Duhaney will kick off the virtual read which will feature some local guests reading "All Are Welcome."

"Experts agree that reading aloud to young children from birth through third grade is the single most important thing we can do to prepare a child for a love of reading and learning," said Barb Lito, Virginia Beach GrowSmart coordinator. "We want to prepare our future leaders for success in the 21st century."

Read Across America Day highlights the importance of reading aloud to children. Each child who participates will receive their own copy of "All Are Welcome" written by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman. "All Are Welcome" celebrates inclusiveness and diversity, sending the message to children and families that everyone is welcome in their school, in their class, and in their community. It is this spirit of community and inclusion that is central to this event. We invite the community to join us in this celebration of reading.

"Celebrating the joy of reading as a community helps inspire children to read which is an important factor in creating life-long successful readers," said Lito. "Research has shown that children who enjoy reading are motivated, spend more time reading, and do better in school. Committed families, early childhood educators and communities can make a huge difference in our children's reading ability."

The virtual read will be available March 4, 2022 at VBGrowSmart.com/Read-Across-America, Facebook.com/VBGrowSmart and Twitter.com/VBGrowSmart.

About Virginia Beach GrowSmart

GrowSmart is operated through the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness and reading proficiency of young children ages 0-8. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart also offers programming to ensure the availability of high-quality early education. Visit www.vbgrowsmart.com for more information.

About Virginia Beach READS

As a member of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Virginia Beach READS focuses on three pillars of success proven to directly impact reading proficiency. By emphasizing the importance of kindergarten readiness, summer learning and daily attendance Virginia Beach READS is committed to moving the needle on third grade reading. Community partners in our local campaign include Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Public Libraries, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Virginia Beach Department of Health, Office of Volunteer Resources, Square One and Virginia Beach GrowSmart.

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