READ ACROSS AMERICA: Schools honor Dr. Seuss, promote literacy

Published 11:37 pm Thursday, March 5, 2020

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In 1997, the National Education Association wanted a day to celebrate reading and to encourage children to read so Read Across America Day is held during the week of March 2 to coincide with the birthday of the popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss.

However, the groundwork for Read Across America Day was laid long before.

In 1954, Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, read in Life Magazine that children weren’t reading as much because they found most children’s book boring.

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The book doctor changed all of that with his silly and, at times, non-sense books, said Sabrina Thomas, kindergarten teacher at Banks Primary.

“Children love Dr. Seuss books because they are silly and funny and they rhyme,” Thomas said. “Children can anticipate rhyming words and that is exciting for them.

“Reading is so important and, if children enjoy reading, they will read. Dr. Seuss makes reading fun. Even as adults we love Dr. Seuss.”

The excitement was building in Thomas’ classroom Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the arrival of two very special guests who were coming to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with her students.

“My intern, Reagan Kelly, invited two friends who are football players at Troy University to come and read with the children and they are so excited,” Thomas said. “We appreciate these young men taking their time to come and read to the children.”

TJ Harris and William Choloh, Jr. jumped right in, reading rhyming words and laughing along with the students. Then, they danced and helped the students make wockets for their pockets.

“We’ve had a good time,” Harris said. “It has been an amazing day. Seeing the kids smiling and happy is worth in all.”

Students at Pike County Elementary came to school Thursday dressed in the pajamas and ready to read Dr. Seuss books in cozy, comfort.

The kindergarten and first-grade teachers at PCES said their students look forward to celebrating Dr. Seuss Day every year.

“They love his books because they are silly and fun to read and, too, children just love words that rhyme,” Beverly Chance said. “Dr. Seuss makes reading fun and reading is fun and we want our children to read.”

March 2 is Dr. Seuss Day in celebration of the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel. However, because of the popularity of Dr. Seuss books, most schools in Pike County take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with reading activities throughout the week.