Elementary students celebrate Read Across America Day

posted on March 5, 2012

The Cat in the Hat is back!

Students at Red Cloud Elementary School enjoyed a very special treat on Friday, March 2, as they celebrated Read Across America Day with books and costumes aplenty. The day, which coincides with the birthday of children’s book author “Dr. Seuss”, began with a special breakfast of green eggs and ham, made by the cafeteria staff. The elementary classes (Kindergarten-4th grade) then took turns going to the library during their regularly-scheduled reading classes, and being read to by their “reading buddies” from grades 5-8.

Costumes were also part of the festivities, although perhaps none as elaborate as that worn by elementary librarian Kathleen Siebrasse-Wittenberg, who was dressed as a very convincing Cat in the Hat. Students also made their own stovepipe hats in the style of the Cat, and many wore them around the school all day. The kids were also given the option of wearing pajamas to school, and most of them gladly accepted the offer. As for the older reading buddies, they were able to pay one dollar to participate in the “Grab a Hat and Read with a Cat” fundraiser, which allowed them to wear a cap to school, in exception to the school’s normal dress code. A final perk of the day was that every student, K-8, received a brand-new donated book to take home with them.

Read Across America day is observed nationwide, and is sponsored by the National Education Association. According to NEA literature, the day was conceived as a way to bring awareness and motivation to reading, and to provide parents, caregivers, and children resources and activities in order that they might keep on reading every day of the year. In the words of the NEA task force that first launched Read Across America Day in 1997, "We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don't we do something to get kids excited about reading?”

The event has since grown to become the largest celebration of reading in the nation, including the 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, and retired educators who make up NEA membership. And if Red Cloud is any indication, the event will thrive well into the future. Second grader Adriano Rama said his favorite part of the reading time was the rhyming. When asked what rhyming he meant, he said “‘The Cat in the Hat’ of course!”

Of course.

More photos of Read Across America Day can be found here.