Dr. Seuss leads the way on Read Across America Day

Author: Tammy L. Lane • First Posted: Friday, March 05, 2010

Gallery (click any photo to view the gallery)
The librarian at Booker T. Washington Academy read "The Cat in the Hat" to the kindergarten classes.

The librarian at Booker T. Washington Academy read "The Cat in the Hat" to the kindergarten classes.

The librarian at Booker T. Washington Academy read "The Cat in the Hat" to the kindergarten classes.Kids of all ages enjoy Dr. Seuss stories.Read Across America encourages children to pick up a good book every day.Thing 1 and Thing 2 dropped by Ashland Elementary on Dr. Seuss' birthday.Several teachers dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character.Ashland students spent 15 minutes reading together in the gym to cap their celebration of Read Across America Day.

The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, a star-bellied Sneetch and Cindy Lou Who! A bunch of familiar faces popped in on Read Across America Day to celebrate Dr. Seuss.

Schools across Fayette County marked the beloved author’s birthday this week (he would have been 106 years old on March 2) and promoted Read Across America, which encourages youngsters to pick up a book every day.

Teachers at Ashland Elementary paraded around in character, fifth-graders acted out the entire story of “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,” and everyone tested their Seuss I.Q. with quiz questions like “How many stripes are on the cat’s hat?” (Five!)

“He was a very good poem writer and rhymer. Everyone who reads his books really likes him, so he’s a big inspiration for reading,” third-grader Jackson Buckner said. “The illustrations might help younger kids get involved since it draws their attention,” he added.

Ashland students also spent 15 minutes reading together in the gym. They could bring whatever book they wanted, and many opted for a Dr. Seuss favorite.

“He made up his own words and characters. A lot of the characters are unusual and different, and that’s why people like them,” 8-year-old Audrey Fields explained.

Kindergarteners at Booker T. Washington Academy seemed to agree. They happily filed into the school library to hear “The Cat in the Hat” read aloud by … the Cat in the Hat!

Librarian Tracie Dreyer-Hanes really dressed the part, complete with red bowtie, white face paint and whiskers. As she led the children through the story, she paused to let them finish the rhyming lines. She also visited the older kids’ classrooms to hand out Dr. Seuss stickers.

All week, Dreyer-Hanes has collected slips of paper as students finished reading various books. She’s looping the strips and making paper chains for each class to hang in the hallway. The kids there also have learned more about the author through short videos on their morning news show.

Students can stretch the celebration into this weekend with a Read Across America event at Fayette Mall. Celebrity readers from the University of Kentucky’s football team and Transylvania University’s quidditch team will be on hand, and kids can ask parents to snap their picture with the Cat in the Hat.

“This is a child-friendly event that will bring together local celebrity and community readers, teachers, bus drivers, students and parents to enjoy reading as a community. This kind of event is what children will remember about reading – hanging out with the Cat in the Hat and adults taking the time to read and discuss great books,” said Betty Rhodes, president of the Fayette County Education Association, which helped organize Saturday’s activities.

In addition, the association is collecting gently used books from students at every school throughout March to donate to libraries or other local facilities.

“We’re going to look for where the need is and share those with the community,” Rhodes said.

If you go

What: Read Across America celebration

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday March 6

Where: Fayette Mall (at the Dillard’s entrance)


Read more FCPS news and features