The New York Public Library hosted the kickoff event of Read Across America Day this past weekend. Hundreds of school children gathered to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday alongside celebrities like Uma Thurman and Jake T. Austin.
The two actors read Dr. Seuss classics, and explained the numerous benefits of reading.
“As a mother of three, with one now a teenager, I’ve seen the benefits of reading to and with my children throughout the span of childhood,” Uma Thurman said. “Reading has helped develop my children and my family. Spending that time together means so much.”
Jake T. Austin added:
“Reading enables us to explore our imaginations. As an actor, I get to be different characters and experience different worlds. I want children to be able to do the same through a good book.”
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel continued:
“This Read Across America Day we want students to sink their teeth into a good book…. I really like the reaction I get when I say the word ‘read!'”
According to the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, serves as a poster boy for the importance of reading. With only a high school education, he prepared for his role as U.S. president by reading copious amounts of material about other world leaders.