McCleary Elementary ‘Reads Across America’ with Dr. Seuss

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

Dr. Seuss books have been around for many years. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist and animator. He is known for his work writing and illustrating more than 60 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He was born in 1904 and died in 1991 at age 87.

Amelia Taylor and her winning bulletin board, “Books Take You on an Adventure,” pictures a camper and tents which her students individually decorated.

Many of his books – The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton hears a Who and How the Grinch Stole Christmas – still resonate with kids today.

Among Dr. Seuss’ most popular quotes include: “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

Staff members at McCleary Elementary School hold this quote close to their view of thinking when it comes to reading. They continually encourage their students to read by giving assignments and ideas in addition to suggesting to parents to read to their child nightly.

Each year, students across the country celebrate the birthday of beloved children’s author with a week of activities that emphasize the joy of reading.

“This fun week, sponsored locally by the Craig County Education Association, was observed the week of February 25 through March 1,” Marshal Burton, a middle school teacher, said. “During this week, the McCleary Elementary students each received a Dr. Seuss bookmark and sticker from the CCEA.”

She noted that students and teachers have a lot of fun dressing up to correspond to different Dr. Seuss books. For example, they wore hats for The Cat in the Hat and crazy socks for Fox in Socks on different days of the week.

The week culminated with “Dress as your Favorite Book Character” day on Friday and a parade for everyone to show off their creative costumes.

Members of the Craig County High School BETA Club visited McCleary Elementary throughout the week to read Dr. Seuss books to the younger students during their time spent in the library.

“These readers spent time preparing and practicing, and it showed,” Burton said.

BETA Club member Madison Hannah said, “Reading to kindergarten children is always fun. It was truly one of the best parts of my senior year.”

Burton added, “The McCleary students look up to these young leaders and enjoy their efforts.”

This year, they added an additional and fun competition for middle and high school students: memorizing Dr. Seuss quotes. The middle school winner, Damian Smith, won a gift card to Subway.

Burton also shared that the teachers did not get left out of the festivities. They had the opportunity to participate in a bulletin board decorating contest that emphasized the joys of reading. The winner, Mrs. Amelia Taylor, won a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card from CCEA while runners up, Mrs. Persinger and Mrs. Childers, won gift cards, too.

CCEA President, Donna Deplazes, with Craig County Middle School students Dr. Seuss Quote Contest Winners, left to right: Sarah Hickson, Jamie Ratliff, Damian Smith and Cameron Huffman.

Of course, the week would not have been complete without a birthday cake honoring Dr. Seuss.

“It was made by the dedicated and wonderful cafeteria staff and enjoyed by the entire school division,” Burton explained. “The Craig County Education Association appreciates the efforts of all that helped make this a memorable week for the students.”

As Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

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