Theodor Geisel – the man most know as Dr. Seuss – would have turned 110 Sunday.
His birthday is one of the highlights of Read Across America week in schools around the country. In the Central Valley School District, leadership students from University High School marked the occasion by visiting elementary schools and reading their favorite Dr. Seuss books.
At University Elementary School, Principal Sue Lennick said her own love of Dr. Seuss goes back to her childhood.
“I was raised on Dr. Seuss,” she said, while wearing a red-and-white striped hat. “It just has a lot of memories.”
The school kicked off Friday morning with a pancake breakfast and invited members of the community. After the visits from the high school students, there was an assembly for the whole school which included reading by flashlight in the gym.
Lennick said her school celebrates the day every year. Sometimes, members of the community, who they call, “celebrity readers,” come in to read. Sometimes it’s local authors, sometimes it’s staff from the district office.
“We change it up every year,” she said.
But it was Dr. Seuss who starred in the classrooms. Jenny Warren, a junior at U-Hi, could barely contain her giggles while reading from “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”
While Hunter Watson, another junior, read from “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” students in Kayla VanSickle’s kindergarten class buzzed with the bees in the story and said, “hop, hop, hop,” and “clop, clop, clop,” along with her. It was hard not to get caught up in the funny sounds.
Charlie Arthur, one of the kindergartners, said he really liked the stories.
“I like them because they are super awesome,” he said.
Makayla Spradlin said she liked the story about the fish and that she likes to read books.
University Elementary was one of four schools the U-Hi students visited last Friday. They also visited Ponderosa, Opportunity and Broadway. Friday, they will visit South Pines and Chester.
U-Hi senior Sarah Lamp helped to organize the visits.
She said the books the students read came from her own collection.
“I actually had a ton of Dr. Seuss books,” she said.
She said she thinks it’s the illustrations kids like so much in Dr. Seuss’ books.
“He makes kids want to read,” Lamp said.
Five to 10 high school students visited each school for an hour.
Lamp read “In a People House” to students last week.
“I was a little nervous.”