Read Across America-Celebrating Diversity

The Read Across America initiative was begun in 1998 by the National Education Association.  It is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone.

The program focuses on motivating students to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone. It is their goal to include books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them.

While Read Across America is traditionally celebrated the first week of March, it is intended to be a year-long event. The year 2021 has been designated as the year to  create and cultivate a nation of diverse readers by promoting books, authors, and teaching resources that promote diversity and inclusion.

More information can be found at the NEA Read Across America webpage.  

This year, the East Coldenham recommended these books highlighting them on our Facebook page with Read-a-louds and synopses.

Last Stop on Market Street l A Different Pondl Do Like Kyla l Hidden Figuresl Hair Lovel I am Enough l Whistle for Williel Big Moon Tortilla l Jamaica’s Blue Marker l By My Brother’s Side


Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street is a story about appreciating differences, happiness, and inequity. Every Sunday after church, CJ and his Nana take the bus to its last stop on Market Street. This Sunday, CJ begins to wonder why they have to wait in the rain, why they don’t have a car, why they always make this trip.

A Different Pond

As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.


Do Like Kyla

A little girl imitates her big sister Kyla all day, until in the evening Kyla imitates her. Kyla is a loving big sister and an excellent role model for her younger sibling. Story about sisterly love and the special relationship that can exist between sisters.


Hidden Figures

“Hidden Figures” tells the story of four African American women — Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden — who all worked at NASA in impressive STEM careers against a backdrop of racial discrimination.


Hair Love 

When mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to do his daughter’s hair in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestseller Vashti Harrison. Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.

I Am Enough

I Am Enough by Grace Byers shows girls making positive affirmations to promote self-esteem and acceptance.


Whistle For Willie

In this charming sequel to The Snowy Day, an older and wiser Peter wants to learn to whistle. Wouldn’t it be the perfect way to call his dog Willie? Peter tries so hard to whistle that his cheeks hurt, but he doesn’t give up. With a very light hand and his legendary illustrations, Keats creates a world in which effort yields results.


Big Moon Tortilla

The sweet smell of her grandmother’s freshly grilled tortillas is so distracting to Marta Enos that she suffers several mishaps on her way to the cookhouse. Only her grandmother’s loving words of wisdom can help set things right again.


Jamaica’s Blue Marker

Jamaica is not friends with Russell, a boy who ruins her picture by smearing a blue marker over it. Jamaica is glad to discover that Russell will be moving away, until she thinks about it.


By My Brother’s Side

Based on the childhood of National Football League superstars Ronde and Tiki Barber, this inspiring book about the values of family, hard work, and determination is the story of what it takes to be a champion. Tiki and Ronde were each other’s best friends.