On March 3, Windham Elementary School in Daleville and Fort Rucker Primary School celebrated Read Across America Day with a variety of Dr. Seuss-inspired events and activities.
The nationwide event takes place every year in honor of Dr. Seuss, the children’s author known for his colorful characters and imaginative rhymes in stories like “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”
Daleville High School JROTC students planned a special day of activities, including a visit by the Cat in the Hat himself at Windham Elementary. 1st Lt. Rebekka Hataway, a junior at DHS, came up with the idea for the event last year. She worked to develop different games and activities that would further connect the students with some of their favorite readings.
Hataway said she was inspired by her own memories of reading Dr. Seuss as an elementary student at Windham.
“I only wanted to read Dr. Seuss books when I was a kid, and we had a Dr. Seuss event at my school. It encouraged me to read and I thought it was fun,” she said.
Hataway hopes that after today students will remember that reading is not only important, but also enjoyable. “It doesn’t have to be only in the classroom. If it’s funny, and they had a fun activity, then it will encourage them to read.”
At Fort Rucker Primary School, students listened to stories read by several guest readers, including Col. Stuart McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander. McRae stopped by to read “I Can Read with Eyes Shut” and “Fox in Socks” to pre-K students.
Later in the week, teachers will set up nine different “Seussville centers” in the gym. Students will spend Thursday and Friday rotating from station to station, engaging in activities that improve their gross-motor skills.
Throughout the week, teachers have planned activities–like wearing costumes inspired by characters on “Wacky Wednesday”–that get the students excited about reading.
“For this age of children, the stories are just fun,” said kindergarten teacher Neva Martin, who has taught at FRPS for 23 years. “He makes up funny characters that make the students laugh, and they can learn from them as well.
Martin said Dr. Seuss stories are especially effective in helping students learn to read. Students love the rhyming words, which encourage them to learn a new vocabulary.
“Dr. Seuss helps us out a lot with that. His language makes it easy for them to understand,” she said.
Both Windham Elementary and Fort Rucker Primary School will continue to celebrate reading with additional activities throughout the week, including more story readings by parents and guests.