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National Read Across America encourages sophomore Caitlin Relvas to celebrate her love for reading.

Taylor Gather and Ivanna Rea

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For sophomore Catlin Relvas, Mar. 2 is D.E.A.R. to her heart and childhood experience.

National Read Across America day was created in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA). Every year, the holiday is celebrated on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mar. 2, as a day dedicated to reading and encouraging younger audiences to read for pleasure. The day shows all that reading is beneficial in a multitude of ways, inspiring students like Relvas.

“Something I really love about reading is how connected I feel to the world,” Relvas said. “There is nothing else quite like losing yourself in the words of another at your own pace.”

Relvas was first introduced to reading when she was in first grade. Although she is an avid reader today, her appreciation for reading wasn’t love at first book.

“I used to really struggle with reading,” Relvas said. “My teacher would read the Boxcar Children aloud in class. I loved the story and started to check out those books from the library. Next thing I knew, I was reading anything and everything I could get my hands on.”

Like several elementary and middle schoolers, R.E.A.D. gave Relvas the opportunity to celebrate her love for reading with fellow peers and classmates at a young age.

“I was in fifth grade when my school started celebrating Read Across America day,” Relvas said. “We got to wear pajamas or comfy cozy clothes, and were allotted extra time in class to read, which was very exciting because the more reading time the happier I am.”

From the Boxcar Children to the Harry Potter series, Relvas’s love for reading has not only improved her vocabulary and grammar, but it has provided her with a different perspective of the world around her.

“Reading has changed everything about me,” Relvas said. “Not only do I always have a book with me everywhere I go, but I view the world differently each time I finish a book. I’m constantly expanding the way I look at various aspects of my life, and have gained experience and understanding through reading.”

As she grows older, Relvas continues to pursue her passion for reading. The feelings of inspiration that only books are able to provide her have even prompted her to practice creative writing, following in the footsteps of some of her favorite authors.

“There’s a kind of magic when the right combination of words, sentences, ideas and imagery create a book, a masterpiece,” Relvas said. “They fill me with hope and happiness. I truly believe reading has made me a happier and more optimistic person.”

As kids all over the country dedicate their Thursday to a day filled with reading, Relvas encourages SMCHS students to go to the library and check out a book, or even consult her for recommendations. Relvas also encourages others to do just as she does every Mar. 2: Drop Everything And Read.

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