2021 Read Across Oklahoma

About the 2021 Read Across Oklahoma

Read Across Oklahoma is the state’s premiere literary event for preschool and early grade children held each year to celebrate literacy and encourage reading. Last year's event kicked off on Tuesday, April 13 with a free book giveaway at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The event usually features special activity stations and performances throughout the zoo. Due to continuing COVID-19 precautions, the Read Across Oklahoma activities and performances went virtual.

A page dedicated to the virtual celebration was setup on the ODL website and it featured a special video of Tammi Sauer reading the event’s featured book, Wordy Birdy, performances by popular children’s musical group Spaghetti Eddie, additional storytelling, and more. The video also provided a virtual look at the OKC Zoo spotlighting some of its animals and habitats. View some of the Wordy Birdy activities below.

During Read Across Oklahoma week, 1,750 books were given away to twenty-nine OKC metro elementary schools, TANF families and zoo visitors. The packages to the schools also included crayons and Birdy visors (DIY directions below).

"Children who are exposed to books and have books to call their own at an early age develop better vocabularies and are better prepared for school,” according to Leslie Gelders, ODL Literacy Coordinator. “Getting books into the hands of young children is so important, so we were excited to partner with the Zoo to give more books away.”

A big thank you to the students from Northwest Classen High School who pitched in to help pack books, crayons and Birdy visors to be given out. Thanks to the Target volunteers who delivered the packages to the elementary schools. Shoutout to all the sponsors who helped make Read Across Oklahoma happen: Oklahoma City Zoo, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Pizza Hut, Target, The Krueger Foundation, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Teacher Prep Academy, Red Wolves, Metro Technology Center, Feed the Children, Junior League of Oklahoma City. And many thanks to those who volunteered their time at the event and before the event to get everything set up.

 Read the Press Release! DOC | PDF

Pictures from the Event


ODL Deputy Director Natalie Currie volunteering at the book giveaway


Read Across Oklahoma attendees looking at the books at the OKC Zoo


Kids with Birdy visors and books participating virtually


Northwest Classen High School students pack books and crafts to be sent to metro schools


ODL employee volunteers at the book table to help children pick out free books


Children picking out favorite books to take home at Read Across Oklahoma


A young reader excited about the book she just picked out at Read Across Oklahoma



Oklahoma City Public Schools  •  Teacher Prep Academy  •  Red Wolves

Metro Technology Center  •  Feed the Children  •  Junior League of Oklahoma City