Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, may have passed away in 1991, but his birthdays are more popular today than green eggs and ham, especially at Redoubt Elementary School where for the last six years or so Sharon Hale has coordinated a school wide celebration of the favorite author of children's books. The idea is not just to honor the famous author, but to further one of his life time goals of teaching children to love reading. "It's actually become part of a national campaign sponsored by the NEA known as Read Across America, but for me it's because I love Dr. Seuss and doing crazy things like this that brings community members in to read to the kids," said Hale. Again a theme that is said to have inspired Dr. Seuss's writing because he wasn't happy with the limited books that were written for children or suited for adults to read to children.
The annual event at Redoubt brings in local parents, officials, and celebrities like Mark Berezin of the Kenai Performers, to read their favorite stories in the classrooms. "My favorite is Green Eggs and Ham, but I heard the story of Tar Baby and Brer Fox today for the first time and that was kind of cool," said 6th grader Gracey who likes being a book-buddy and reading to her younger schoolmates. "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child. You're never too busy, too cool, or too hot, to pick up a book and share what you've got," says the Read Across America Poem written by the NEA.
Additionally, to foster the love of reading and to prepare for Dr. Seuss's Birthday Redoubt Elementary throughout February, the official Love of Reading month, has a reading challenge for all students to see what class can read the most books. "Every book read was logged on a piece of paper and when a class finished 25 books we turned them in for a gold medal," explained Tara Rosin. Mrs. Rosin's 1st grade class read more books, winning more gold medals than any other class and was proclaimed the Champion Redoubt Readers at Dr. Seuss's Birthday last week. "My favorite was the Cat in the Hat," said 7-year-old Sierra who read a total of 350 books in the month of February. "Horton Hears a Who and all the Dr. Seuss books," added Felicity, who read 300 books. Dr. Seuss would have been 106-years-young March 2nd and very proud of all his fans who did all that reading during February and undoubtedly encouraged by Sharon Hale and the faculty at Redoubt Elementary that make going to school and learning so much fun.
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