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March 2, 2012 > Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

By Miriam G. Mazliach, Posters courtesy of NEA

Words on a page can spring into action, expanding the imagination. Reading, one of the most essential of life skills, opens doors to wonders of the world. On March 2, in classrooms and homes all across the country, those who love books are celebrating "Read Across America Day" honoring the birthday of an intergenerational phenomenon, "Dr. Seuss." Every year, the National Education Association (NEA), salutes this cherished and respected children's author, born Theodor Geisel, with a national birthday party.

Whimsically-creative, topical and inspiring stories of Dr. Seuss have contributed to the joy so many experience by reading and listening to his stories. Although he passed away in 1991, readers young and old continue to adore and feel inspiration from the treasure trove of Dr. Seuss literature.

So, in accordance with this year's "Read Across America Day," children, adults and families are encouraged, to "Sink your teeth into a good book." Many schools in the Tri-city area will be hosting their own activities for students. The following is just a sampling:

Azevada Elementary
During the day, students will be wearing pajamas to school for a PJ Party. In the evening, Azevada students and their parents will have a "Bedtime Story Night" where guest readers will share their favorite story books. Students will receive a free book, provided by the PTA, to take home.

Brookvale Elementary
Teachers at each grade level will pair up with their buddies to do Dr. Seuss book readings with their buddy classrooms. Teachers will swap places and read to a different classroom. Students will also work on individual projects within their classrooms learning about the history of Dr. Seuss and doing some "in class" projects. Parent visitations will take place on campus to help read to kids and do project based activities.

Cabrillo Elementary
To continue an annual tradition of Dr. Seuss' Birthday, parents, community members and district office staff will be invited to read to Cabrillo students in classrooms throughout the day. In addition, Young Authors will read their original books to their peers. It will be a "Drop Everything and Read/Sustained Silent Reading" day. Older students will read to younger students.

Mattos Elementary
Parents and invited guests will read to students. Children will bring in their favorite books and stuffed animals. Student Council will be sponsoring Pajama Day. Every classroom and all staff will read during the day. The Principal and LMT will dress up in "Cat in the Hat" outfits and read to students throughout the day.

Millard Elementary
Millard Spirit Day "Fox in Socks" - Wear your Millard Spirit wear and some crazy socks to school!

Oliveira Elementary
Each classroom, including the office, Science Lab, P.E., and Library will be decorating their doors to commemorate Dr. Seuss's birthday. Students can wear their pajamas and bring pillows/blankets/stuffed animals. There will be a fire drill that day and the entire student body will conduct a flash mob centered on reading. After the drill classrooms will have guest readers in their classrooms ranging from parents, to grandparents, to community members and district personnel. Each student will be asked to bring in one book they no longer read and are ready to donate to those less fortunate. They will be asked to write on the inside cover what they like about the book and why they would recommend it to someone. The school will then invite the Directors of the nonprofit organizations, Abode and SAVE to come to the school site so that the books can be presented to them.

Warwick Elementary
There will be a school-wide reading competition. The class with the most minutes logged will receive a trophy for the year. Students with the most minutes logged will receive gift certificates to a bookstore.

Bowman Elementary is hosting "Family Reading Night" and "Dress like your Favorite Character."

Burbank Elementary will have readers from the community reading aloud to the students.

East Avenue Elementary - The school will participate in a "Drop Everything and Read," and will hold a Book Fair and a Family Reading Night.

Eldridge Elementary - "Crazy Hat Day/Night" for Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Schafer Park - "Literature Read Aloud Day" with community members in the classrooms.

Southgate Elementary - All day Dr. Seuss related activities and Read-In.

Weller Elementary School - Reading will take place from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Teachers Jan Miller and Meera Ramchandran helped organize the event. Parents and local community members are invited to read to the students. Classes are grouped so that reading groups are small enough for students to engage with the reader and the story. Reading happens both inside classrooms and in the school's courtyards.

Newark Junior High School - "Cougar Reading Day"
Local dignitaries, including the Mayor and Chief of Police as well as other guests, read to the students throughout the day of Thursday, March 1, one day prior to Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Sunol Glen Elementary - The school celebrates with a month of activities centered on "Literacy." Some of the activities include: decorating the bulletin board with "Oh, the places we like to read," a teacher swap of classrooms, dressing like a favorite book character, "Crazy Hat Day," and culminates with a "Popcorn for Pages" party with the Principal, based on the number of pages read by the students.

At Searles Elementary School in Union City, it will be "Pajama Day," "Student Body Rally Day" and "The Mini-Olympics," with activities all rolled up into one jam-packed day of fun! Students in their best pajamas will be reading books and invited to come out to the patio area, one classroom at a time, to enjoy delicious hot chocolate provided by the PTC (Parent Teacher Community). Readers from the community, district office, and parents are among those who will be reading aloud to the students, says Principal Deborah Knoth.

Visit the website:, for more ideas and activities to encourage reading at all ages.

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