1. Do an official Read Across America Day celebration. This year, Read Across America Day, which honors Dr. Seuss’ birthday, takes place on March 2. We have a Read Across America Pinterest board to collect and share Dr. Seuss-theme ideas from a variety of pinners. If you need tips for creating Dr. Seuss costumes, photo booths, bulletin boards, writing prompts, or snacks, you’ll find them there.

2. Hold a Family Reading Night. We offer a free Family Reading Night kit that you can download and use to plan an event that brings parents and kids together to focus on the importance of books and reading. There’s still time to hold one with a cozy winter theme. One idea: Invite children to attend in their pajamas and serve hot chocolate while adults read stories to kids.

Hands-on STEM and STEAM ideas for parent groups to support learning

But you also can plan a fun reading night for the spring, or even an outdoor reading night at the end of the school year! You could set up your evening as a literacy camp on the school lawn. Parents bring tents and each tent has a book theme that kids can visit. In addition, a year-end reading night is a good way to promote summer reading. You would work with teachers to spotlight certain authors or books that will be part of the summer reading lists.

3. Run a book drive or collection. Your group could ask parents and kids to donate gently used books for either the school library or other schools or children’s groups that are short on books. Another option: Run a book swap at the school so children can turn in a book and, in exchange, take a donated book.

4. Hold a favorite book character parade. Ask teachers to help encourage students to dress up as their favorite book characters and then host a parade at the start of the school day.

5. Organize a reading challenge. We’ve written about groups that have successfully managed year-long and impressive programs, like the PTO at Grand Valley Elementary in Orwell, Ohio, which helped its school read for 2 million minutes!

A scaled-down version, say a challenge to read 200,000 minutes, could be done for the spring. (Doing the math, if a school of 500 kids read 15 minutes a day for a month, that would be 225,000 minutes!)