Staff photo by Philip Wright
CHIP DAVIS, Yavapai County Supervisor, held the attention of students in Tyler Harding's third-grade class Tuesday at Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School. The school celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss, popular children's author who died in 1991.
Although the famous author and illustrator of children's books died Sept. 24, 1991, his birthday is still celebrated each year in elementary schools across the country.
The National Education Association founded Read Across America on March 2, 1998, to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday and to encourage children and adults alike to learn about the joys of reading.
At Daniel Bright Elementary, Cindy Page and Shelly Zale, both Title I reading teachers, coordinated an all-day reading celebration.
"We started celebrating it four years ago," said Page. "We sent out letters of invitation to community members."
Zale said this year about 40 community members accepted the invitations to come into the school and read Dr. Seuss books to the students.
Volunteer readers were scheduled at DDB throughout the day in kindergarten through fifth-grade classes. The readers each agreed to read for one, two or three 20-minute slots, each in a different classroom That way, the children were exposed to many of Seuss' books.
With 48 books published into 20 languages, Dr. Seuss' stories, such as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham," are still among the favorites of today's children.
So the daylong birthday party and reading celebration are combined to help young students learn how much fun it is to read.
"It's just one other aspect of reading we try to use," said Zale.