If you visited a Dallas elementary school on Friday, March 1, you might have thought green eggs and ham was on the lunch menu. However, that phrase, among other Seussian favorites, were read aloud to celebrate the late children’s author and highlight the importance of literacy.
The National Education Association’s Read Across America Day is a celebration of children’s literacy that is placed on our near the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss (born as Theodor Geisel in 1904). In schools, that often means volunteers visit classrooms to read aloud to children – particularly in elementary school.
At Lee A. McShan Jr. Elementary School, volunteers from Friendship-West Baptist Church and employees from Associa – a firm founded by former state Sen. John Carona – read to the children. Dallas ISD Trustee Dan Micciche, whose district incorporates McShan, also stopped by to read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to fifth-graders.
McShan has a booming immigrant population, and few had heard of the book before. Micciche said that particular Seuss book is great for new readers, but is also often given as gifts to graduating high school seniors. The story follows the lead character through several trials and tribulations.
“The main idea of the story is that you should never give up on yourself,” Micciche said. “When you are feeling depressed and alone, and you don’t know anybody else, those things are usually temporary.”
In addition to district leaders, community members and volunteers, hundreds of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas volunteers read to Dallas ISD students as part of Read Across America Day.
“By engaging students in beloved books like Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, we can help inspire a lasting love of reading and learning in our community,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “We at United Way know that giving kids the skills to succeed in school—like reading at grade level—sets them up for lifelong success. With the help of committed volunteers, we’re strengthening education, income and health- the building blocks of opportunity that every community needs to thrive.”