Schools celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with reading

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NATCHEZ — In celebration of what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 106th birthday Tuesday, first-grade students at Frazier Primary School donned their tall red and white striped hats to celebrate Read Across America day.

Natchez Fire Marshal Aaron Wesley visited Samantha Fielder’s first-grade class Tuesday morning to read the Dr. Seuss classic “The Cat in the Hat.” Wesley said he liked getting the students involved in the reading because it held their attention.

“How did you know it was a cat in the hat,” Wesley asked.

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“It could have been a cat in the glove,” he said.

“No,” the first-grade class jeered, “The Cat in The Hat!”

“The Cat in the Hat” was a funny story, 7-year-old Patricia Netherland said.

“Dr. Seuss is a great writer,” she said. “Today is his birthday.”

Javion Dunbar, 7, said he learned about fun things.

“(Wesley) was pretty funny, and he was nice,” he said.

In his sixth year of volunteering to read to the children, Wesley said he still has fun.

“I truly enjoy working with the kids,” he said. “When you stimulate their young minds, it could have a lasting effect. It may be these students reading to children one day.”

Dr. Seuss is important because of what he did for the literacy of children, Fielder said.

“He wrote (dozens) of books with characters that catch their attention and words they like to read,” she said.

Celebrating Read Across America and bringing in volunteers to read to the children is also important, Fielder said.

“It lets the students know that people care about their education,” she said. “Not only the school cares, but also people in the community.”

Fielder planned many activities, including coloring sheets of “Horton Hears a Who” and a Dr. Seuss map. She said they would also take home a free book.

“I think it is a fun week,” she said. “It encourages students to get involved in reading. Dr. Seuss wrote fun books, so he really engages students.”

Volunteers included officers from the Natchez police and fire departments, deputies from Adams County Sheriff’s Office, emergency medical technicians from American Medical Response, Mayor Jake Middleton, the Retired Teachers Association and volunteers from AmeriCorps.

“I think it is great for the school to have us come out and participate,” Wesley said. “The principal and teachers are doing a good job with the students here.”