Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat is hitting the road in a specialized Read Across America tour that is also driving kids to brush their teeth.
The Cat-a-Van Reading Tour, sponsored by the US National Education Association and Renaissance Dental, will embark on February 24 and will cover more than 20 cities in eight states before ending its journey on March 14.
The tour will visit thousands of schools to promote good oral health and literacy habits, and encourage kids to brush for two minutes, two times per day, as well as read for 20 minutes each day.
The campaign comes as reports find that tooth decay continues to be the single most common chronic childhood illness in the US—about five times more common than asthma.
As part of the tour, more than 30,000 special striped stovepipe reading hats, books and toothbrushes plus other goodies like tooth timers will be distributed to students. Renaissance Dental is also distributing more than US$15,000 in grants to the libraries and media centers of the public schools visited by the Cat-a-Van Reading Tour.
Originally created 17 years ago as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading, NEA’s Read Across America was founded by NEA and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and it has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day.