Successful Students

Students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., get a hug from Seuss' fuzzy featured character, the Lorax. The school was visited by the “Read Across America Tour – Driven by Mazda,” sponsored by the NEA’s Read Across America program, Mazda North American Operations and Universal Pictures. Photo: Staci Maiers

NEA’s Read Across America – Driven by Mazda Tour Visits Priority Schools

With a message of “Read! Read! Read!,” and a beloved Dr. Seuss character, NEA’s 
‘Read Across America Tour- Driven by Mazda’ is making stops at priority schools in California and Nevada. The Lorax-adorned vehicles on the tour bring books and cash donations to public school libraries—with each priority school receiving a $1,500 grant for its library.

NEA’s “Read Across America Tour – Driven by Mazda” will focus on sharing the story of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” with students and raise awareness for public schools in need. In addition, for every customer who test drives a Mazda between February 21 and April 2, 2012 the company will make a $25 donation to public school libraries—up $1 million. Administered by the NEA Foundation, this donation will provide vital funds to help the nation’s struggling public school libraries.

Second graders at Roosevelt Elementary School helped out Mazda USA representatives in presenting an oversized check for their school library to in Stockton, Calif. Photo: Staci Maiers

Several of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign intensive support sites will be visited by The Lorax. Schools in California include Roosevelt Elementary School in Stockton, Burbank Elementary School in Hayward and Davidson Elementary School in San Bernardino. In Nevada, the tour will stop at Kit Carson Elementary School in Las Vegas.

During the tour stop at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, California, students brought some of the Lorax’s lessons to life by reading on iPads, creating Truffula Trees and participating in other eco-friendly activities during the special read-in. Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney also was on hand “to read to the trees,” the signature call of Dr. Seuss’s famous, fuzzy featured character.

“Just like Dr. Seuss created fun and exciting ways to convey important messages in his classic books, educators use magic everyday to connect with their students and encourage them to become life-long learners,” said Hayward Education Association President Mercedes Faraj.

“‘NEA’s Read Across America Tour—Driven by Mazda’ is a perfect example of how educators and community members are working together to foster the joys of reading while driving home important messages like conserving our environment. We truly thank and appreciate NEA’s contribution to our community here in Hayward.”

Students celebrate reading at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward, Calif. Photo: Staci Maiers

Studies show that students who enjoy reading perform better in school, boast higher test scores, develop comprehension proficiency and improve analytical skills faster and better than their peers who read less frequently. NEA’s Read Across America is the organization’s signature literacy effort to help children develop a love of reading during their early years.

NEA’s ‘Read Across America Tour – Driven by Mazda’ will travel through both the West and East Coasts, visiting schools and Mazda dealerships in 20 cities, with a final stop in New York City on March 2 to celebrate “Read Across America Day,” Dr. Seuss’ birthday and the opening of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s 3D feature Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.”

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