WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Teachers and students celebrate Read Across America Day with read-alongs from professionals and politicians in the classroom.

The annual event on March 2, also falls on the famed children’s author Dr. Suess’ birthday. It focuses on motivating children and teens to read through reading resources and events.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin joined the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and 70 volunteer readers to read “Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry in pre-K Hartford Public School students.

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) also paid a visit to a classroom, joined by Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, and West Hartford Board of Education Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson.

Classrooms across the state welcomed special volunteer visitors, including New Britain’s Smith Elementary School and International Dual Language School in Waterbury.

“Diverse stories provide kids with different perspectives and help them see how others think and feel,” RAA ambassador and founder Marly Lias said. “Take NEA’s Read Across America Diverse Books Challenge and help kids discover their own voices as they learn from the stories of others.”