Students at Crowell Elementary School likely did a double take Thursday morning as they stepped foot on campus only to find out that their school had been taken over by blue haired, red-jumpsuit-wearing characters “Thing One” and “Thing Two.”
Upon closer inspection, however, students found out that they were not the mischievous characters from Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat,” but Principal Margaret Osmer and Assistant Principal Angela Freeman in disguise, who dressed up as part of the school’s weeklong celebration of the beloved child book author, whose 112nd birthday would have been Wednesday.
Osmer said that school librarian Jannell Jensen and counselor Elena Barajas formed a committee to carry out the weeklong celebration this year, which included a number of different Dr. Seuss-themed dress up days, such as “Cat in the Hat” day, “The Lorax” mustache day, pajama day for the school’s read-a-thon, book character day, and “Fox in Socks” Day. The school campus also hosted Dr. Seuss night on Thursday evening.
Like many other school sites throughout the Turlock Unified School District, Crowell also invited a number of community members, including Mayor Gary Soiseth, current and former TUSD Board of Trustee members, retired teachers, firefighters, college professors, and Stanislaus County Fair CEO Matt Cranford, to read a story aloud to students. One specific community member was TUSD Superintendent Dana Salles Trevethan, who read to Reem Handosh’s fifth grade class.
“Celebrating reading gives our students and community the opportunity to make connections through the positive influence of a great story,” said Trevethan.
Over in Denair Unified School District, members of Denair High School’s Library Club celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday and National Read Across America Day by walking over to Denair Elementary Charter Academy, where they volunteered to read unforgettable Dr. Seuss classics, such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”and “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut” to first graders, two of which were Brooklyn Binkley and Connor Hart from Kathy Perry’s class.
“I like the stories that he [Dr. Seuss] writes,” said Binkley. “They’re so imaginatory (sic) and they’re cool.”
“I like them because they have a lot of funny words. They have a lot of rhyming words” added Hart. “I want to learn how to read every word.”
As members of the Library Club, DHS juniors Ana Moreno and Sam Belcher said that the club volunteers to read to students at the elementary school campus once or twice a month, in addition to Wednesday’s annual National Read Across America Day event.
“I think it’s a great thing to read to kids, especially because I like reading,” said Moreno. “I hope by reading to them I make them like reading too. It not only helps with vocabulary, but it’s really fun.”
“The kids really enjoy it and it’s fun to interact with them,” added Belcher.
As detailed on the “Seussville” website, National Education Association’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.