February 29, 2024

Virginia Beach Celebrates Read Across America Day March 1

Inspiring a love of reading with a community-wide event and video featuring City Manager Patrick Duhaney and guests

The City of Virginia Beach will join the National Education Association (NEA) for a Read Across America Day celebration on Friday, March 1. Over 140 volunteer guest readers at more than 88 participating school and childcare sites and 375 early education classrooms will participate in a community-wide read to more than 7,500 children.

This year’s featured book is “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” by acclaimed Harvard University cum laude graduate and award-winning writer, Amanda Gorman. This story follows a young girl who embarks on a musical odyssey, discovering along the way that each individual possesses the power to effect change, no matter how big or small, in our world. The event kicks off with a video read of the book featuring City Manager Patrick Duhaney and some special guests reading and sharing how they make our community a better place.

Read Across America Day stands as a testament to the profound significance of literacy in our society. Virginia Beach GrowSmart's core belief is that every child deserves access to quality and affordable early childhood education. Access to quality early learning environments supports kindergarten readiness and builds a strong foundation for future learning and life success.

More than 7,500 books will be provided to young children across our community thanks to the generous support of Anthem Healthkeeper’s Plus and the Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation. The 2024 Read Across America Day video will be available on VBTV and online at www.vbgrowsmart.com/read-across-america.

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 reading at birth, equipping parents and adult caregivers in their important role, and ensuring access to quality early learning environments, the efforts of Virginia Beach READS strengthen the kindergarten readiness of children.

In Virginia Beach, the local Grade Level Reading campaign is led by Virginia Beach GrowSmart, along with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Public Library, Virginia Beach Department of Public Health, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, and multiple collaborative partners across the community.

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