Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Students across the county celebrate Read Across America Week together with the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Mar. 03, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Cats in the Hats have been on the loose in Rutherford County this week as local elementary schools celebrated the beloved children's author Dr. Seuss during Read Across America Week.

Celebrations throughout the week have included character parades, special guest readers, Dr. Seuss themed snacks and author visits.

"I enjoyed reading Fox in Socks to the students at Rutherfordton Elementary earlier this week. Dr. Seuss was a master of manipulating language to make it fun and engaging for students, and it is one of his best," said Steven Helton, director of elementary education for Rutherford County Schools. "Today, I shared one of my favorite books, A Regular Flood of Mishap by Tom Birdseye, with Mrs. Pitchford's first-grade class at Ellenboro Elementary. As many books are, it is a great tool for teaching vocabulary, and it also serves as a great springboard for discussing the "mishaps" we sometimes experience."

According to the National Education Association, Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Pinnacle Elementary School held their celebration on Friday. Classes read books, took AR tests and enjoyed a snack of green eggs and ham. At the end of the day, parents were invited to read with their children.

"The kids are getting excited about reading. We have moved our desks off the floor and replaced them with pillows and blankets and they are excited about trying green eggs and ham. This also gets their parents involved and they can see what an AR test is like," said Heather Grissom, kindergarten teacher at Pinnacle.

Storyteller Darion McCloud visited Rutherfordton and Forest City- Dunbar elementary schools to share the story of 'Dave the Potter', a book written by Laban Hill. McCloud chose to share this story because he was the model for the illustrations.

"The book is about David Drake who is an artist, poet and a slave. He made incredible pots and he would write poems on them and sign it. That was back when it was illegal for black people to read or write," McCloud said. "He also lost a leg and he was a potter that used a kick wheel. So making pots with one leg was amazing."

Michelle Webber, guidance counselor at Rutherfordton, used a Learning Links Grant sponsored by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to bring McCloud to the county. He gave performances for students at the schools and shared in a special lunch at Rutherfordton.

Students at Ellenboro Elementary School participated in Read the Most From Coast to Coast on Friday. The day was sponsored by Accelerated Reader. Students across the nation took part in the AR Quiz Challenge to try to set a national record for the most AR tests taken in one day.

"At 10:30 a.m. we had already read over 1,000 books," said Bill Bass, Ellenboro principal. "We did not come up with a goal because this is the first time we have done this, but I think at the rate we are going we might surpass 3,000."

The school had many guests come in to read to the students and students reading to each other.

"I think it is pretty creative. We have third grade kids reading to first grade and we have first grade reading to kindergarten. We have had parents, special guests and people from the community in to read to them. I am excited about it, it is going really well," Bass said.

Other special events included author Libby Bagby's visit to Sunshine Elementary and members of the Forest City fire and police department reading books to students at Forest City-Dunbar.

"Dr. Seuss would be so pleased to know that his birthday is now marked with wonderfully joyous celebrations of reading across the United States," Helton said.