Today marks Read Across America Day, a day set aside to encourage every person in the nation to read or be read to for fun. This annual countrywide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the American writer best known for creating children’s books and inspiring the love of reading in four generations of kids. Originally created as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading, Read Across America, sponsored by NEA and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day.
More than 45 million people young and old participate annually in the literacy program, now in its 16th year.
Intervale School had a special day of Dr. Seuss. Members of the community were in school reading books to the individual classes.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Jamie Baberio started his day reading to the third students from classes of Mrs. Worthington, Ms. Hollingsworth and Ms. Kogen. Then he continued down the hall to the first grade classes of Ms. Maloney and Mrs. Petersen.
Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President, Robert Peluso was a guest reader at the kindergarten class of Ms. Gurskin. Craig Schlosser, Exective Director, Parsippany Area of Commerce was found in the second grade class of Mrs. Tsakanais. Officer Christiano, Parsippany Police Department was also reading in the kindergarten classes of Ms. Gruskin and Ms. Ries. Mrs. Garcia’s, second grade class had the opportunity to listening to Lou Valori, former Board of Education member, while Councilman Jonathan Nelson was reading to the fourth grade class of Ms. Boylan.
Other readers included Linda Didner, Kim Krall, Mimi Taylor, Karen Gaynor, Pegeen Lightner, Elaine Callahan, Rose Schuman, Pam Freund, Paul Sanon, Suzanne Olympio, Karen Gaynor, Gloria Balcom, Melissa Okerbloom, Sue Schoppert, Kitty Lucibello, Harriet Schwartz, Matt McGraft, Karen Levin and Parsippany Patch Editor Natalie Davis.
Dr. Seuss born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904 was an American writer, poet and cartoonist most widely known for his children books.
Geisel published 46 children’s books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
All students from first grade to fifth grade held an essay contest. The winner of the essay contest was announced at the end of the day.
He was a perfectionist in his work and he would sometimes spend up to a year on a book. It was not uncommon for him to throw out 95% of his material until he settled on a theme for his book.
For a writer he was unusual in that he preferred to only be paid after he finished his work rather than in advance.
Any one of the 44 books that Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated would be a perfect pick for younger kids.
Forty of them are written in rhyme. Rhyming forces the dissection of sounds and helps grow phonemic awareness, which is the ability to blend, unglue and manipulate sounds in a word.
A 10-year Institute of Health study found that weakness in this area was the cause of 88 percent of all learning to read problems. Helping tots build that key cognitive skill now can help prevent problems when school starts, and keep them enjoying reading well into adulthood.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
The Purpose of Read Across America
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.
In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea. “Let’s create a day to celebrate reading,” the group decided. “We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don’t we do something to get kids excited about reading? We’ll call it ‘NEA’s Read Across America’ and we’ll celebrate it on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.”
And so was born on March 2, 1998, the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.
In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA’s Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers.
And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.