A Real Hoo’s Who
Dr. Seuss Event Promotes Literacy
Posted: March 2, 2013
Spotswood junior Tabitha Nelson helps Dalisa Pryor, 7, (far right) read a Dr. Seuss book to Savannah Pence, 6, (left) and Lily Cresawn during a celebration of the late Dr. Seuss’ birthday on Friday at the Valley Mall. (Photos by Jason Lenhart)
Kelsey Hatton, 3, sits in Rachel Funkhouser’s lap while being read Dr. Seuss’ “McElligot’s Pool” Friday at the Valley Mall. Volunteers from Rockingham County Education Association and Spotswood High School spent the evening reading books to children in honor of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Spotswood juniors Jim Irvine (right) and Morgan Forloines, read a Dr. Seuss book to Krystal Burrell and her son, Mason, (right) and nephew, Dimitri Howard, on Friday at the Valley Mall.
It’s not a passive activity, but rather an interactive one that played out Friday as dozens of SHS students read such classics as “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat” with children at the Valley Mall on East Market Street. The event was part of a national effort to promote literacy and celebrate the late Theodor Seuss Geisel.
“The little kids are cute, and we always enjoy seeing them,” said Sisson, 17, president of the SHS Future Educators Association club.
The children’s response is one of the highlights of National Read Across America Day, also called Dr. Seuss Day, which is today. It coincides with Seuss’ 109th birthday.
The SHS club and Rockingham County Education Association observed Read Across America a day earlier.
This is the 16th year local teachers and students have held the event at the Valley Mall, organizers said.
“It’s one of our favorite events. … Look around you — happy children and happy parents. Teachers are always happy when children are reading,” said Carole Barber, president of the Rockingham County association and an English teacher at Wilbur Pence Middle School in Dayton.
Children who participate in the event like that they get to spend time with teenagers, Barber said.
Not all the students who come out to support Dr. Seuss Day are members of the SHS educators club, said its adviser, Renée Lapp, who also teaches English at Spotswood.
Students from the SHS Spanish Honor Society also turned out to read, as the Future Educators has increased its collection of Dr. Seuss books in Spanish in response to demographic changes, Lapp said.
“I have kids from all over Spotswood,” Lapp said.
It’s proper that the work of Dr. Seuss, with its larger-than-life characters, rhyme and other signature traits, is used to promote literacy, Lapp said.
Dr. Seuss is the author of 46 children’s books whose appeal spans generations and cultural backgrounds, and he continues to be one of the most prolific American authors more than 20 years after his death.
“I think he’s one of the most important authors … for literacy,” Lapp said.
Barber said the impact he’s had on generations of readers is immeasurable.
“There isn’t a way,” she said.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or email@example.com