Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

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Students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale rehearse for its production of Seussical Jr. in this file photo. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale rehearse for its production of Seussical Jr. in this file photo. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

That’s the phrase I found on a webpage at seussville.com. Conversely, you’re never too old to be read to, either. Just think of the Catholics who span the ages at each Mass and get not just one, but three stories read to them.

I’ve heard of Catholic school students as old as seventh- or eighth-grade not mind being read to. Some schools will hold special story times or reading times this week as an early celebration of Read Across America Day.

It’s typically celebrated March 2 in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. One of the three Cat-a-Vans touring the country for the occasion apparently started out in Phoenix earlier this week.

See how else local students are observing “Read Across America Day”:

  • Students at St. John Bosco will “drop everything and read” for 20 minutes at the end of the day today.
  • Students at Ss. Simon and Jude will attend a “Read Across America” assembly this afternoon. The librarians secured Tom Leander, broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, to serve as the guest reader sharing Max Lucado’s story, “You Are Special.” His appearance is also in honor of Sr. Raphael Quinn, principal, who is one of the “Suns Nuns.”

Reading is something schools have always promoted. Lately, librarians have been inviting readers to help fill up the shelves.

Ss. Simon and Jude, for instance, started a “Friends of the Library” program and encouraged students to donate a book in honor of their birthday. Staff received 11 in one day and at one point had to halt donations due to lack of storage.

The Celebration Book Club at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale has also seen success. Students added 39 books to the shelves in November and another 42 in December and January.

St. Timothy School in Mesa also began inviting students to donate books on their birthday.

 

UPDATE Mar. 1

I received the following article written by Teagan Scott, an eighth-grader at St. John Bosco, about how students celebrated Read Across America Day:

Everyone loves Dr. Seuss. When you read his books, you barely know you are reading; you just know that you’re having fun.

Dr. Seuss’ birthday is on March 2 and St. John Bosco students celebrated it in a schoolwide event. Students gathered in the afternoon for Read across America Feb. 28. The tradition has been executed since the second year of the school, when Mrs. Harvey became the librarian. But the event was not just for students at SJB. In 1998, the National Education Association decided to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. How fitting!

Mrs. McCormick, a kindergarten teacher, reads with one of her students during the school's annual "Read Across America" celebration. (courtesy photo)

Mrs. McCormick, a kindergarten teacher, reads with one of her students during the school’s annual “Read Across America” celebration. (courtesy photo)

From 2:45 to 3:00, kids all across the school gathered to read. Different teachers coordinated it differently; some teachers read to their students, others let their students bring a book and read under the pleasant afternoon sun. If a student didn’t have a Seuss book, he or she didn’t have to worry because sharing was encouraged. Reading was celebrated and everyone had a great time.

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Students all over the school chimed in.

  • Ashleigh, a 3rd grader, said, “Put Me in the Zoo because it has a lot of colorful pictures”
  • Patrick, an 8th grader said Green Eggs and Ham because the moral is to try things.
  • Another 8th grader, Maria, said that she used to be grossed out by Green Eggs and Ham but she now smiles when she reads it- both at the story and the memories.
  • Even the staff loves Seuss: Mrs. Mendenhall, the reading teacher, loves the classic Green Eggs and Ham. Mrs. Mahoney, the Art Teacher gives The Places You’ll Go as a graduation gift often.  

Read Across America is a great way to celebrate a Birthday.  Congratulations on another year of celebrating reading, Dr. Seuss!

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