Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) announced today the lineup for its Reading Inspires! Webcast to be held on Read Across America Day, March 2, 2022.

To conclude its 6-month campaign, “Rally to Read 100,” RIF is welcoming classrooms and families across the country to join them for a virtual gathering with special guests including celebrated author, advocate, and Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation Chelsea Clinton, the Grammy-nominated and five-time New York Times bestselling author Sandra Boynton, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, academic and children’s author Monica Brown, and other celebrated literacy supporters. The event will be hosted by Orion Jean, the 11-year-old founder of the “Race to Kindness” initiative and a 2021 Finalist for TIME “Kid of the Year.”

“The incredible guests joining us for this event are a testament to the impact reading has for all of us,” said Alicia Levi, President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “‘Rally to Read 100’ is about fostering a love of reading for children across the country and we are so excited that esteemed figures, schools, companies, families, teachers, and more are uniting our nation’s children to read leading to this inspiring celebration on Read Across America Day.”

The Reading Inspires! Webcast lineup includes (in alphabetical order):
Brian Anderson – Comic strip and graphic novel writer recognized for his long-standing comic strip “Dog eat Doug.”
Sekou Andrews – Actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, creator of Poetic Voice, and former teacher.
Sandra Boynton – Beloved American cartoonist, children’s author/illustrator, and songwriter whose work, starting with Hippos Go Berserk! (1977), spans more than 70 children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers.
Keith Boynton – Keith Boynton is a filmmaker, playwright, and actor whose latest film, “The Winter House,” recently premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival. (Sandra Boynton is his mom.)
Monica Brown – Award-winning author of multicultural children’s books like Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, professor of English, and a specialist in Chicanx, Latinx, African American, and U.S. Multi-Ethnic literature.
Secretary Miguel Cardona – The 12th Secretary of Education currently serving the U.S. Department of Education.
Chelsea Clinton – Author, advocate, and Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, alongside father and former President Bill Clinton.
Orion Jean (Host) – Author of A Kids Book About Leadership, Top 5 Finalist for 2021 TIME “Kid of the Year,” winner of the 2020 National Kindness Speech Contest, and creator of the “Race to Kindness” campaign.
Alicia Levi – President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental.
Robin Miles – Actor and an award-winning narrator who joins for a narration of The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish.
Alex Viorst – The inspiration for and son of Judith Viorst, the author of the beloved children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Jake from State Farm – Good neighbor and avid reader.

WHAT:

The six-month ‘Rally to Read’ campaign encourages a commitment to read 100 books and is based on monthly themes like Diversity, Compassion, and Nature that are accompanied by recommended book lists, resources, and featured content contributed by acclaimed children’s authors like long-time supporter LeVar Burton, author, explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau and New York Times bestselling author Joanna Ho. Current and upcoming themes and featured author or illustrator read-alouds include:
January (Adventure) – Don Tate, Illustrator of Black all Around
February (Compassion) – Joanna Ho, Author of Playing at the Border

Read Across America Day, the National Education Association’s reading event is recognized annually on March 2. This year, Rally to Read 100 will mark the holiday with Reading Inspires! Webcast, a virtual celebration that includes appearances by authors, advocates, and other storytellers. The winners of the Rally to Read sweepstakes, which offer a total of 10,000 books to expand library and classroom collections, will also be announced. Open to all K-5 educations, the deadline to enter the sweepstakes is February 1, 2022.

WHEN | WHERE
Event broadcast begins at 9 a.m. ET/ 6 a.m. PT on March 2, 2022, and is available to watch on-demand until March 30, 2022, at RallytoRead.org/readacrossamerica. Register today at the Rally to Read event page

WHY:

RIF launched Rally to Read 100 in September 2021 to commemorate serving 100 million children since its founding in 1966 and to engage students, educators, and families nationwide in frequent reading, especially following pandemic learning losses.
To learn more about Rally to Read Reading, click here.

Reading Is Fundamental would like to recognize the generous support of its partners. Official Partners include International Paper, Macy’s, and Scholastic; Promotional Partners include Amazon, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Fidelity Investments, Keenan Insurance, McDonald’s, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Navient Community Fund, Pitney Bowes Foundation, Post-It, Starbucks, State Farm, and UGI Utilities, Inc. Reading Is Fundamental is also collaborating with National PTA to engage families in the initiative.

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