Sunday, July 12, 2020

Click here to
sign up for our newsletter!

The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 13, 2017

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Ignites Rumson Students’ Reading Potential

Twenty years ago, the National Education Association decided to do something big to get kids excited about reading. They called it NEA’s Read Across America. Launched and celebrated annually on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2, it was – and still is – the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.

On March 2, all the grades of Deane-Porter and Forrestdale School students celebrated Read Across America Day, which reminded them how reading can ignite their imaginations, intelligence, and love of learning. Grades seven and eight read Oh, The Places You’ll Go, then wrote themselves an inspirational letter about “all the places” they hoped to go during their remaining school years, highlighting the potential they hoped to ignite in themselves through their teenage years. The staff will share these letters with students at high school graduation.

Some fifth and sixth graders read The Lorax and created their own ending in the style, voice, and perspective of Dr. Seuss, while others read The Sneetches, comparing the symbolism to the Civil Rights non-fiction unit they are currently studying. The students discussed being proud of who they are and accepting all, regardless of whether or not there is a “star on your belly.” Students drew themselves as unique sneetches and identified what they like best about themselves.

Younger Forrestdale students enjoyed Dr. Seuss-themed healthy snacks as they engaged in read-alouds.

The excitement grew when local authors shared their stories with the students. Author Beth Ferry read one of her children’s books, Land Shark, and the students were lost in the story of Bobby and his pursuit of a pet shark for his birthday. Annie Silvestro, one of Rumson’s own, read Bunny’s Book Club. The students loved listening to the clever antics of bunny as he shares his love of reading with friends.

The power of books is stronger than a locked library door. Adding to the fun of the day, the students were treated to a classroom-to-classroom visit from the Cat in the Hat.

District media specialist and STEM teacher Mrs. Liz Waters said Read Across America is a special day that brings literature to life through the voice of Dr. Seuss. “Our students and staff have a great love and enthusiasm for reading. We were inspired by the activities, celebrations, and special guests.” Students and teachers alike enjoyed a day filled with rhyming words, nonsense phrases, and remembering how much fun it is to read!