Promoting literacy among students and families on the Navajo Nation

Miss Navajo Nation Niagara Rockbridge joins Navajo President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez March 2 to promote “Read Across Navajo Nation Month.” (Photo/OPVP)

Miss Navajo Nation Niagara Rockbridge joins Navajo President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez March 2 to promote “Read Across Navajo Nation Month.” (Photo/OPVP)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — To encourage and help develop language skills, expand vocabulary, build self-confidence, boost imagination, cultivate awareness of the world around them and strengthen family and community bonds, the Navajo Nation is celebrating “Read Across Navajo Nation Month” in March.

On March 2, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, and Second Lady Dottie Lizer signed a proclamation recognizing “Read Across Navajo Nation Month,” in coordination with “Read Across America” to celebrate the joys of reading and to promote literacy to enhance the lives of Navajo students and families.

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Navajo President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez and Second Lady Dottie Lizer encourage families to read during the month of March. (Photo/OPVP)

The signing ceremony was held at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, with Miss Navajo Nation Niagara Rockbridge and Navajo Nation Library Program Supervisor Donovan Pete in attendance.

“Celebrating the joy of reading together, as a community and a Nation, inspires our children to read, which is an important factor in their pursuit of higher education and a better quality of life,” Nez said. “Reading can significantly benefit a child’s language skills, academic success, family bonds, concentration, creativity, imagination, and awareness. Committed families, educators, and community members can make a huge difference in our children’s reading ability and development.”

During the signing, leaders read portions of Dr. Seuss books in celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday March 2, which brings thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers across the country together to encourage reading and learning among youth.

“During Read Across Navajo Nation Month, we encourage families to read together and to inspire all children and youth to read,” said First Lady Nez. “This month, take the time to incorporate reading into your children’s schedule and routine. Reading to your child – at any age – will boost their confidence, brain development, creativity, and language skills. Reading also provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to connect with their children. It’s a wonderful way to spend time together after a long day of errands, chores, school, or work.”

Rockbridge agreed.

“It is said that 95-percent of a child’s brain is developed by the age of five. With that in mind, it’s important to practice early childhood literacy by reading books such as Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, and Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” she said. “These were some of my favorites growing up and being in school indulging in books like Green Eggs and Ham. I encourage parents to pick up a book and read to your children.”

In observance of “Read Across Navajo Nation Month,” the Navajo Nation Library will host virtual story times led by guest readers and provide free books on the library’s social media pages.

The Office of the President and Vice President thanks the Navajo Nation Library, Office of Miss Navajo Nation, and the Department of Diné Education for their support.

Information provided by the Office of the Navajo President and Vice President

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