Letting loose with Seuss: Students celebrate Reading Across America program
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blount County community members and students are celebrating one of life’s greatest joys: Reading.
Most schools organized activities to participate in the Read Across America program, which is an annual reading motivation and awareness event that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2 — the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Montvale Elementary School completed its weeklong celebrations on Friday. They organized a schoolwide parade in which faculty, staff and students dressed as a Dr. Seuss character or carried character illustrations.
School officials also hosted special community readers, such as Blount County Assistant Director of Schools David Murrell; Dr. John Dalton, supervisor of pre-K-5 and technology; Trevis Gardner, a Blount County Board of Education member; Principal Gary Leatherwood; Dr. Don McNelly, a Blount County Board of Education member and Sam McCroskey, a school resource officer. Bob Drumm, Debbie Hanagan, Pam Kirkland and Herb Meyer served as guest readers throughout the week.
Students also participated in Accelerated Reader’s Read the Most From Coast to Coast. They completed online tests in an effort to help break last year’s record: 3,581,992 quizzes, nationwide.
Educators kicked off their week by presenting a free book to every child. They later organized a writer’s workshop, parent meetings and art classes.
Librarian Anne Regenbrecht also read stories to children and exhibited animated Dr. Seuss movies throughout the week.
“We’re hoping to turn the parade into an annual event,” said Dianne Flynn, the school’s literacy leader and Title I teacher. “It’s a good way to help students learn and have fun while doing it.”
On Friday, Porter Elementary School kicked off its own Read Across America celebrations with a green eggs and ham breakfast. More than 150 students and 50 adults attended the breakfast.
Heritage High School’s Nicholas Jackson and Cassie Williams dressed up as perennial children’s book favorites Clifford the Big Red Dog and Cat in the Hat, respectively, for the event.
School officials served more people this year than previous years, said cafeteria manager Susan Akins. They usually serve 75 students at the green eggs and ham breakfast, which is in its ninth year.
“Our breakfast was an appropriately big kickoff for a week worth of Seussical experiences,” said librarian Brenda Goins. “We want the kids to have fun, starting with Dr. Seuss. Some students have never read Dr. Seuss, and Read Across America is a fun way to introduce them. We hope that it will blossom into a love of reading.”