Read Across America Day 2016 — Throw a Book Swap Party



Did you know that March 2nd is Read Across America Day?

This national holiday celebrates the importance of reading for children and teens.  It is a year-round program, developed by the National Education Association, celebrated on the birthday of one of the world’s greatest authors — Dr. Seuss.

Traditionally, elementary schools spend the day engaged in “Seuss” themed activities.  Libraries create a display of Seuss books, students are encouraged to dress like book characters, and some cafeterias even serve up a special helping of green eggs and ham.

For Read Across America Day 2015, the theme was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”.  We posted some creative ways to incorporate the theme into everyday subjects and lessons.  (Click here to read the article!)

As we started compiling resources for Read Across America Day 2016, we wanted to think outside the “fox in socks” box.  While this national holiday is geared toward schools, it doesn’t have to stop there. Inspired by the creativity of Dr. Seuss, this year we are going to share some unique ways that you can celebrate Read Across America Day — whether or not you’re still in school!



Tip #3.  Throw a Book Swap Party.

Book swaps are incredible because everyone can participate — seniors, teens, and even preschoolers.  Seriously, who doesn’t love a new book?

First, propose the idea for the party.  You can ask a community group, your yoga class, or even your extended family.  You can include multiple ages into one book swap, but be sure you have enough people attending.  If your numbers are low, limit it to one age group.  Remind your guests to bring books!  (You may even want to consider including magazines.)

Decide how you would like to coordinate the book swap.  Will the books be wrapped like a “white elephant” gift, or unwrapped?  In either instance, have some sticky notes around and pens.  Have the person swapping the book attach a note to it, explaining why they enjoyed it.

Consider serving book themed drinks and snacks, or playing a trivia game.  You may even want to discuss new books that you want to read.

When it’s time for the swap, the general rule is that you get to pick one book for every book you brought.  But feel free to create your own rules.  After all, this is your party!  (Why not throw another party a few months later and swap books again?)


What ideas do YOU have for Read Across America Day?
Post them in the comments and share them with others!



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Dave Hoffman