"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read to a child," is Read Across America and Sharon Hale's mantra at Redoubt Elementary School. Hale has celebrated the good doctor's birthday since his centennial in 2004 when the NEA's Read Across America Day felt the occasion would be a great opportunity to spark the imaginations of children across the country and adults to read their favorite stories in classrooms. "I think it's important that kids in our school know that community members, no matter what your job might be, have to know how to read! So by having a variety of community members come in and talk and read to the kids they understand how important it is to read," said Hale, aka the "Cat in the Hat" on Dr. Seuss's Birthday.
Hale personally contacts community members from police officers to firefighters, elected officials to radio broadcasters and schedules them with appropriate classes. "It forms a lasting impression for the kids to realize that even though someone wears a uniform or sometimes carries a gun, that person is someone's mom or dad and are someone they can depend on and be friends with," added Hale as she thanked Trooper Secor and Soldotna officer Quelland for doing a great job reading to the kids. "Dr. Seuss not only teaches kids about taking care of our planet with 'The Lorax,' he helps them learn the fundamentals of reading through all of his books," said Quelland.
Miracle George in Mr. Mills 5th grade class thought it was fun to hear the Uncle Remus tale of Tar Baby and Brer Fox read in the original dialect, "That's kind of the way things work in the real world, sometimes people try to trick you and you have to be smarter then they are," commented Page, who says her favorite Dr. Seuss book is If I ran the Zoo. About the green eggs and ham that were served for lunch it seemed to be a split decision, "I think they're really good, really!" said 6th grader Cassidy Hayes. "It's just regular ham and eggs with green food coloring, what's not to like," said Matthew Rhiley as he scooped up a dish for Mrs. Hale. "Dr. Seuss epitomizes a love of children and learning. Also, his use of rhyme makes his books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to our kids that reading is fun and important and we'll keep on doing this celebration as long as I'm here to do it and after that I hope somebody else will carry it on," said Hale.