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Read Across America
Local students get pumped up for four-week challenge
Read pic1
Modesto Nuts' Wally the Walnut bumps fists with one Cunningham Elementary student during a Read Across America assembly. - photo by BROOKE BORBA / The Journal

Students of Cunningham Elementary School were nothing short of ambitious after attending their annual Read Across America assembly, a nod to the nation’s largest reading celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

The audiences ranged from kindergarteners to sixth grade students, and all were encouraged to dress up as their favorite story book characters in light of the occasion. During the assembly, students were taught about the importance of reading and were encouraged with special prizes in keeping up with their reading goals for the next four weeks.

 “The kids are always very excited,” said first grade teacher Michelle Gutierrez. They are always coming up to me and saying that they are meeting their goals. We get a high participation rate. They love this time of the year.”

 Students were also granted a special visit by Wally the Walnut, one of the Modesto Nuts mascots, whose presence made the children more excited to obtain their reading goals. The Modesto Nuts Reading Program promoted the four week agenda in order to incorporate the number of bases on a baseball field.

Each base represents a week, and at the end of each week, students who qualify get a treat. The first week is the promise of a free piece of fruit from Savemart Supermarket. The second week’s prize is a free pass to Funworks. The third week’s prize incorporated free tacos from Taco Bell, and the fourth week is a free ticket for the Modesto Nut’s baseball game, complete with a hotdog and soda. Students will also be able to partake in a parade with Wally and prance around the field.

Local children can also celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with reading, games and crafts at the Turlock Library on Wednesday. The Dr. Seuss event will be held for children ages 4 to 12 at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The library is located at 550 Minaret, Turlock.