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Today we join with parents, teachers, students, authors, and Americans of all ages in celebrating Read Across America Day.

Reading skills are essential for every American. Whether using traditional books or new technologies, such as tablets and e-readers, the act of reading nourishes the American imagination. It enriches our personal time, strengthens our professional lives, and sharpens our political discourse. A love of reading instilled at a young age is all but certain to yield immeasurable dividends over time, which is why we must continue to be proactive in promoting youth literacy.

Together, we must remain committed to uniting all Americans behind the common cause of literacy and to ensuring that every citizen receives the rewarding gift of learning how to read. Today, and every day, let us be a Nation that reads together. By doing so, we will continue to fuel the prosperity of our economy, help every child lead a life of purpose, and write the next chapter of American greatness.

As we celebrate Read Across America Day, and recognize the critical role literacy has played in shaping our wonderful Nation, let us always remember the still-vibrant words of Dr. Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”