Many classrooms are gearing up for the most famous book holiday ever: Read Across America Day. Originally, Read Across America Day, or “Dr. Seuss Day” was created in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. However, a few years ago, The Conscious Kid published an article titled, “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti- Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books” that enlightened the education community about the explicit racism that Dr. Seuss engaged in.
Ever since then, educators and families have put a stop to Dr. Seuss Day and rebranded Read Across America Day as a general celebration of literature on March 2nd or the whole week. Some organizations, such as the National Education Association, have gone further and put the focus for Read Across America Day on diverse books featuring characters of color and characters with different gender identities.
In 2019, we, at Colorful Pages, put out an article sharing a list of alternatives to Dr. Seuss to help make the choice of anti-racism easier for educators, librarians, and families. And in 2020, we wanted to take our support a step further so we started an alternative program educators, librarians, and families can engage in with free online resources called Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week.
We have since then rebranded and updated our resources during last year and are SO excited to continue on with this work for 2022. I was super happy to see all the emails, texts, and messages from friends and from educators around our country asking for our Read Across America with Colorful Pages program. I am incredibly sorry that I haven’t finished out the program sooner – I am actually pregnant with our first child (due in July) and have been really struggling teaching Kindergarten while pregnant during this pandemic. However, I wanted to still make sure to get out the 2022 version of our RAA with CP Program even if it is a few days later than normal. I know getting the books might be a struggle since we only have a few days, but here are some tips to get the 2022 books with our tight timeline:
- Check out your in-person local bookstores (especially Independent Book Stores)
- Send out an email to your colleagues to see if they have any of the copies OR if they want to all try to find 1-2 books each and do a book swap (Teacher 1 uses Book 1 Monday and then gives it to Teacher 2, etc.)
- Use online delivery services that promise 1 or 2-day shipping (Amazon has been a life-saver for last minute lesson materials for me this year)
- Look on YouTube for online read alouds
Anyways, instead of Dr. Seuss Day or General Read Across America Day, participate in 2022 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week. In our program, we aim to redress the harm that Dr. Seuss has done by uplifting diverse books and BIPOC authors throughout the week. This year, we have totally revamped our Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week! We specifically focused on diverse books published recently in 2021 and early 2022. In addition, I have created new worksheets and new content for this year. Check out all the resources below and participate in this awesome week!
2022 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week
During the Week of February 28, 2022, Read Across America with Colorful Pages helps children ACTUALLY read across America by reading diverse picture books by authors of color from different locations in the United States of America. Each day, February 28th – March 4th, educators can pick 1-2 books from our program and:
- Show their students the chosen diverse picture book
- Introduce the author of color and where they live or were born in America
- Read and discuss the book
With Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week, students benefit from appreciating diverse characters and plot lines, as well as seeing authors of color from all parts of America. This creates multiple windows and mirrors for students while hopefully creating a door for them to feel inspired to see themselves as writers, too!
2022 Read Across America with Colorful Pages: Resources
Are you ready to join in and actually read across America with your students? Start to plan your participation in 2022 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week using the following free resources:
- 2022 Book List (with Authors’ Locations)
- Unit Plan for the Week
- Book Covers with Authors Pictures
- Student Final Project Worksheets (with Differentiation Options)
2022 Book List
Here are the books for this year! Check out our official “Book List” for the authors’ locations for your 2022 Read Across American with Colorful Pages Map.
- The Me I Choose to Be, by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
- Powwow Day, by Traci Sorell
- A to Z Cut Loose in Hawai’i, by Andrew Imamura
- Room for Everyone, by Naaz Khan
- Friends are Friends, Forever, by Dane Liu
- Coquí in the City, by Nomar Perez
- Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope, by Jodie Patterson
- Hair Twins, by Raakhee Mirchandani
- Octopus Stew, by Eric Velasquez
- Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner, by Angela Dalton
- El Cucuy is Scared, Too!, by Donna Barba Higuera
Let’s Do This!
Every year, my students had so much fun with this program (and I have taught Kindergarten and then Grades 2/3 the last few years)! We got to just sit down together and enjoy some really engaging diverse books and celebrate authors of color. I even had students from other classes who visited (due to a substitute shortage) and they all were instantly engaged. At the end of the week, we all got to pick our favorite one to draw and write about. It was beautiful!
Happy 2022 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week!! Your students are going to love celebrating diverse books by diverse authors. Throughout the week, let us know how it is going by commenting on this article or posting on social media and tagging us or using the hashtag #ColorfulPagesAcrossAmerica! Also, share this article and our free resources with your colleagues to spread the diverse book love.