By Lora Scripps
This week if you spot a fox wearing socks, a Cat in a Hat or a Cindy-Lou Who, Yertle the Turtle or Thing 1 or Thing 2, it’s no cause for alarm. Just ask and they’ll say it’s Read Across America Week in observance of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Schools across the county have been celebrating the 110th birthday of beloved children’s writer Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known as Dr. Seuss. His birthday was Sunday, but many area schools will continue activities this week.
Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program created by the National Education Association. It’s a day when teachers are known to dye their hair blue, cook up their best green eggs and ham and become wacky and wild over reading.
Limestone County Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk donned a tall red and white striped hat today as he visited Johnson Elementary School and read a Dr. Seuss classic about thinking.
“The kids thought it was the coolest thing,” he said, adding he has plans to visit Piney Chapel Elementary School Tuesday where he will read for both elementary students and students in the Pre-K program.
Sisk, like other educators, believes literacy is invaluable.
“We know reading is fundamental to the success of a child,” Sisk said, adding the ability to read, communicate, understand and process written communication is essential. “We certainly wanted to celebrate Read Across America because reading is so important.”
Athens Superintendent Trey Holladay also wore a tall striped hat as he joined other administrators, teachers and students today to read “Oh, The Places Athens City Schools Will Go!”
“We want to promote literacy as much as we can and a love for reading,” Holladay said, adding he thinks the works of Dr. Seuss enhance that love with literature that he said has been around since before his time.
Some schools, such as Brookhill Elementary School, have a themed day planned for the week. On Tuesday, students will wear tie-dye as they “get into a reading daze.” Owens Elementary School leaders have planned days such as Wacky Wednesday and Relax and Read Day.
Other schools have set aside days to dress up as favorite storybook or Dr. Seuss characters. Many area schools are also holding book fairs.
Athens Elementary School will hold a Family Reading Night at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, and Julian Newman will hold a Reading Rodeo at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with special guest Sheriff Mike Blakely.
Blue Springs Elementary celebrated last week. Librarian Kelly Noble said students produced skits and local storyteller Frank Travis shared tales during the week’s events. Noble said 3,721,765 words were read by Blue Springs students last week and that they took 2,191 reading tests, which helped them earn a free book that the school purchased with Title I funds.
It is estimated that 45 million people take part in Read Across America.
Geisel, who was born in Springfield, Mass., once said, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”