Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis Reads to Students in Oakland for Read Across America Day


Thursday, March 2, 2023

CONTACT: Rhonalyn Cabello,

Oakland – Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis joined the California Teachers Association (CTA) this morning to read to students at Oakland Academy of Knowledge (OAK) in honor of Read Across America Day. Kounalakis read to first and second-grade students and was accompanied by CTA, school, and district staff. Kounalakis read the book Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty, an empowering message to kids that you can make a difference in your community regardless of age.  

“The whole world opens for children once they learn how to read,” said Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis. “We have a moral obligation to invest in their education and literacy because not only does it help them become better students, but also better people.” 

Acting Governor Eleni Kounalakis meets and reads to first and second-grade students at Oakland Academy of Knowledge

Read Across America Day is celebrated annually on March 2, the birthday of beloved author Dr. Seuss. Read Across America Day was established by the National Education Association (NEA) to help emphasize the importance of literacy and the joy of reading. Events are organized across the nation by schools and organizations to promote reading and its benefits, especially among children and young adults.  

“Reading provides students access and opportunity,” said Nikki Williams, Principal of Oakland Academy of Knowledge. “At OAK, we see literacy as an empowering and essential tool for our student’s success.” 

“I want to thank Lt. Governor Kounalakis for visiting Oakland Academy of Knowledge on Read Across America Day and reading to our students. It always inspires them to read more and aligns perfectly with one of the four pillars of our Strategic Plan – ensuring strong readers by the third grade,” said Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Superintendent. “Lt. Governor Kounalakis is welcome anytime in OUSD schools to share her love of reading with our young people.” 

“Educators know reading is key to a student’s success, not just in the classroom, but in life. We celebrate reading today, every day, because reading is the great equalizer that reaches beyond zip codes, state lines, borders, and continents. Regardless of language, social status, or interests, for our students,  it opens a world of opportunity and takes them places they’ve never been to before,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “Teaching a child to read is giving them an important life skill; but teaching them to love reading, we have given them a gift for life.” 

CTA is a union of educators that has advocated for educators’ rights and the rights of every public school and community college student to have access to a free, quality public education, regardless of one’s zip code, for more than 157 years. Their membership consists of over 310,000 educators across the state of California. CTA has more than 1,100 local chapters in school districts throughout California.