Read Every Day, Lead A Better Life


Academy of American Poets

Literacy Champion Spotlight



“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.” - Mark Strand

Reading poems not only builds literacy skills, it lights the imagination. To introduce more young readers to the art form, in April 1996, the Academy of American Poets, the largest membership-based nonprofit organization for poets, launched National Poetry Month, which takes place every April.

Today National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, reaching millions of Americans, bringing communities together, and inspiring generations of future readers and writers. During the month, the Academy distributes over 100,000 complimentary poetry posters to teachers, librarians, and booksellers throughout the United States. The organization also works with teachers to encourage participation in poetry projects, such as Poet-to-Poet, a multimedia project that invites young people to write poems in response to those shared by award-winning poets who serve on the Academy’s honorary Board of Chancellors.

On a special day during National Poetry Month, the Academy promotes Poem in Your Pocket Day, encouraging people to carry poems and share them with others. This can take many forms. One year second graders at Falcon Heights Elementary School in MN (pictured) celebrated by making their own poem-filled pockets, writing poems in chalk outside of the school, and posting hidden poems for other students to discover.

The Academy provides a bevy of free resources for teachers and students on its popular website,, including poetry lesson plans; audio and video footage from poetry readings; thousands of poems and essays; and accessible, detailed biographies of poets.

To learn more about National Poetry Month and other Academy of American Poets initiatives, visit

Read About Our Literacy Champion Spotlights

826 National >
Asia Foundation >
Academy of American Poets >
Book Trust >
Hands Across the Sea >
Lakota Pine Ridge >
LitWorld >
LitWorld’s LitCamps>
Milk + Bookies >
Pajama Program >
Paws for Healing >
Pencils of Promise >
Reach Incorporated >
Reach Out and Read >
Reading is Fundamental >
Storytime in Asia >
Toys for Tots >
Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy >
UCF Reading Camps >


Video messages to inspire
young readers:

Whoopi Goldberg         Amar'e Stoudemire
Sarah Jessica Parker     Henry Winkler
Keke Palmer                   Justin Tuck

View more >