Jefferson Parkway Elementary

Seuss' 108th birthday sparks flurry of activity

by W. Winston Skinner

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W. Winston Skinner

Retired teacher Peggy Covey reads “The Sleep Book” to pupils in Lorene Baughman’s kindergarten class.

Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday was celebrated in a big way at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School.

Students made bookmarks, played word games, listened to recordings of the rhyming classics, enjoyed stories read by visitors – and even met the Cat in the Hat. The Feb. 27 event was not only Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It also marked the 15th year of the National Education Association’s Read Across America, an event that focuses on the critical need to instill a love of reading in children. The event’s state sponsor was the Georgia Association of Educators.

Schools and libraries across the state participated in the celebration of reading.

At JPES, the Cat in the Hat – who bears a marked resemblance to media specialist Mary Dean – was coordinating events.  In the media center, children moved from table-to-table enjoying a variety of events.

There was a Dr. Seuss memory game, a table where students sorted words on cards by the number of syllables and a table with art supplies for decorating Seussy bookmarks.

At one station, children used IPads for reading, while another offered books on CD. Yet another table had an activity to promote learning antonyms.

Martin Cruz listened to “Hop on Pop” at the CD station. “It’s my favorite one because it’s so funny,” the second grader said. “It has silly words and silly things.”

Arianna Hendrix enjoyed the antonyms activity. “It’s fun, and it’s challenging,” she said.

Dean said she got the IPads with money when she was the school’s Teacher of the Year. The Listening Center was obtained with a grant from DonorsChoose.org .

“This is one of my favorite times of year,” GAE president Calvine Rollins said. “Our public schools and libraries are just abuzz with activity over reading Dr. Seuss and other stories and oftentimes acting out some of his works. The imagination that is used in many of the programs is just wonderful to see.”

Rollins said the activity surrounding Read Across America each year “serves to remind us of the significance of instilling a love for reading in our children at an early age.”

Read Across America began in 1997 as a “Green Eggs and Ham” read-in. The event has since grown to become an annual national testament to the power and importance of reading.

“A good, solid foundation in reading will keep our children on the path to a successful academic experience,” Rollins said.




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