(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Read Across America Day aims to bound communities together like a good book.

And at Early Connections Learning Center in Colorado Springs, children, teachers and law enforcement came together to celebrate the power of reading.

“To highlight the importance of literacy in children all the way from infant up until adult years,” said Ashley Groves, Vice President of Community Engagement with Early Connections Learning Center. “We know that foundationally, a child who has strong literacy skills will be successful in life.”

Read Across America Day encourages kids to open their minds to reading more, hoping to peak curiosity between the pages. The hope is to inspire kids to read at home and in their free time.

The city’s Deputy Fire Chief, CSPD Deputy Chief Mary Rosenoff, along with Fort Carson’s Garrison Commander were some of the few who read to kids at Early Connections.

“To interact with our youngest members and for them to see us in environments that aren’t necessarily the ones that we’re actively working in, such as fires and medical emergencies,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jayme McConnellogue. “These opportunities are what fill us up and keep us working really hard for our community.”

It’s also a chance for kids to be around law enforcement in a comfortable environment.

It’s the first time since COVID-19 they’ve been able to open their classroom for the nation’s largest celebration of reading.

National Read Across America Day is celebrated on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.