Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Two Schools in Two States Celebrated Read Across America Day Together

Theodor Seuss Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss) was born on March 2, 1904. On March 2, schools, bookshops, and libraries celebrate the power of reading and Dr. Seuss's birthday.

It is also the day we celebrate NEA's Read Across America Day! As the NEA site states, "NEA's national reading celebration takes places each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too."

So that is exactly what we decided to do at Van Meter and Oak Brook schools this year.

Shannon's kindergarten students (from Christa McClintock's classroom) and John's third graders (from Mrs. Sompolski's classroom) connected on the morning of Dr. Seuss's 107th birthday in their libraries to celebrate this very special day. After introductions and a little sharing about what the students knew about Dr. Seuss the celebration began.

John's students took turns reading pages from Dr. Seuss's ABC while Christa held up the book in Van Meter for the students to see. It was fun to hear all of the students say their ABC's together too.

They played Seuss Bingo as a group with Shannon and John calling out words such as, "Brook Forest, Van Meter, Fun, The Foot Book, and Read Across America." The students marked their Seuss cards and yelled "BINGO" from both schools.

The students read the NEA Reader's Oath together.

At the end of the Skype celebration, the two schools stood up and sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss. To watch the smiles on their faces and to see the excitement throughout the libraries was very special for everyone.

As the children ate their cupcakes in Van Meter and cookies in Oak Brook, this line from the Reader's Oath came to mind....

"I'll read to myself, I'll read to a crowd. It makes no difference, if it's silent or loud."

What a difference reading together made within these two schools and in the lives of the children on this day. This is a celebration of reading with new and old friends that they will always remember.

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