Imperial Valley Press
Volunteers participate in Read Across America on ‘Dr. Seuss Day’ at St. Mary’s School in El Centro
EL CENTRO – Each year for the past quarter-century, schools across the U.S. participate in “Read Across America Week,” a week celebrated from March 2 to 6 which commemorates the birthday of the beloved author, Dr. Seuss, according to NationalToday.com.
The initiative has been purported by the National Education Association for the past 25 years, according to their website. “The entire month of March, in fact, is dedicated to reading. The National Education Association (N.E.A.) aims to encourage reading and educate people about its benefits, especially among children and young adults. Events are organized across the nation by schools and organizations to promote the same.”
Traditionally, March 2 is known as “Dr. Seuss Day” in honor of the day Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as children’s author “Dr. Seuss,” was born.
While various schools throughout Imperial County participated, one school was quick to reach out to IVP, where its editor was able to subsequently work into his busy schedule a rare visit, on Thursday, March 2.
Volunteers from the Our Lady of the Valley Catholic community gathered in the St. Mary’s School auditorium, grabbing books to take into their assigned classrooms to read to the various SMS students, ranging from grades pre-Kindergarten through eight. Volunteer readers included OLOV parishioners, ICOE educators, former police personnel, and El Centro’s mayor.
“Reading is important because it builds imagination, which is important for the children to have to take into their careers later on,” SMS Principal Fr. Allan White said, snazzily dressed in full Cat in the Hat costume.
“Reading also makes you a better writer,” Superintendent Fr. Mark Edney told the volunteers.
In addition to the children dressed as various Dr. Seuss characters – such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Lorax and others – St. Mary’s School also held a door decorating contest between the classrooms, colorfully adorned with different Dr. Seuss themed decorations.
“The children were very attentive during the reading presentations,” one volunteer said, “and, surprisingly, they loved the simple giveaways like bookmarks.”
“I really hope they enjoyed it,” he said.