Volunteers read to students

Volunteers read to students to celebrate Dr. Suess’ birthday

They read about Sneetches on beaches; they spoke about a fox in socks; they imagined the places they could go and chuckled at Green Eggs and Ham.

Several members of the community volunteered on Monday to read to Lexington City Schools students in honor of national Read Across America Day and to celebrate the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.

The National Education Foundation’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of children’s author Theodor Geisel, who wrote under the name Dr. Seuss.

Jennifer Freeman, reading specialist at Southwest Elementary School, said since Dr. Seuss’ birthday was Saturday, the guest readers were invited to come read his books to students Monday.
Freeman said the celebration is something educators and students look forward to every year.

“We just all love Dr. Seuss and reading,” Freeman said. “It is fun to have guest readers come in, pick a Dr. Seuss book and read to the students. We all get to dress up and be silly, it is just great fun. Last week we dressed each day with a different theme, like hats or socks. It is just a way to get the community involved.”

Christina Santiago, a third-grade teacher at Southwest Elementary, said having guest readers gets the students excited about learning

“I think it helps me as a teacher because it really pumps up the students,” Santiago said. “They get so used to me reading or another student; just having someone who isn’t usually in our classroom is great. It wakes them up and catches their attention. It becomes 10 times more interesting to have someone they don’t see every day and it models to them what reading should sound like.”

Fourth-grader Hidekel Hernadez, who served as a student host to the guest readers, said she really enjoyed having the volunteers come into her classroom and celebrate Dr. Seuss. The guest reader in her class read “The Zax,” which featured two creatures who refused to move out of each other’s way.

“I think it’s wonderful because Dr. Seuss is a famous author, his books are great with a lot of imagination, it is a really colorful world,” Hidekel said. “It was fun learning the lesson about the Zax and being stubborn.”

The Rev. Dianne Horton, chaplin at Wake Forest Baptist Health – Lexington Medical Center, said she was happy to come and read to the children. She said it is important for students to have a fundamental understanding of reading and for the community to support that idea through these events.

“This is a meaningful part of my day. Giving back is very important,” Horton said. “Reading is the groundwork and foundation of their academic work and their future.”

Lexington City Councilwoman Tonya Lanier said she volunteered to read because it was important to model positive behavior to the students and to reinforce the importance of reading.

“I think we should emphasize how important reading is and another reason is to set a good example,” Lanier said. “By doing this, we can reach our kids and stress how reading is fundamental. Of course, Dr. Seuss’ birthday is always a great reason to have a reading event. I had a great time.”

 

 

Sharon Myers/The Dispatch
Photo Credit-Sharon Myers