March 2013 Issue
February 28, 2013

Short takes: Brush up on reading

Source: NYSUT United

The National Education Association is teaming up with Renaissance Dental through its Read Across America program ( to deliver a very important message: 2 x 2 + 20 = good oral health and literacy habits.

The idea is to have children and parents brush for two minutes, two times per day, and read for 20 minutes a day. That's 24 minutes a day to developing oral health and reading skills, both linked to the success of a child in school.

The program provides $500,000 to help bring books and toothbrushes to kids in need. Read Across America is sponsored by Dr. Suess Enterprises and NEA, where President Dennis Van Roekel noted: "Dr. Seuss famously said, 'Teeth are always in style.'"

NYSUT members are eligible for a 20 percent discount at, the official Seuss store for Read Across America. Use the code: NEAMB.

Kick Butts Day

Youth across America can learn about the dangers of tobacco use and take on the tobacco industry on Kick Butts Day, March 20. Educators can find an interactive activity guide with event ideas at

The event is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. Event ideas include: "They put what in a cigarette?" where youth learn about the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes and secondhand smoke; a pledge or memorial wall for youth to commit to being tobacco-free; and health fairs and rallies. Additional information can be found at