Kindergartners at Pecos Elementary wait for their Green Eggs and Ham storytime and Dr. Suess birthday party, Friday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
From there to here, from here to there, Dr. Seuss was everywhere!
Kindergarteners in the Roswell Independent School District celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday Friday with a hat full of activities arranged to capture the excitement of reading. The annual Read Across America program kicked off at Pecos Elementary School with Mayor Del Jurney reading Green Eggs and Ham, followed by a colorful breakfast of green eggs and ham.
Jurney lauded Dr. Seuss’ ability to captivate readers of all ages. He recalled how he enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss books to his son and said those same books will be “waiting at home for the grandkids.”
“Dr. Seuss has made such an impact on youth, through the rhyming, the creativity, the humor and [auth] just the craziness that goes along with it,” he said. “I think it inspires them to want to learn more, read more — it creates in their minds the ability to put all those ideas together that Dr. Seuss so cleverly brings out.”
Diana Carrasco, bilingual kindergarten teacher at Pecos, said the school geared its whole day to the Seuss celebration, from reading comprehension to adding and subtracting with One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.
“Reading is very important, especially in kindergarten,” she said. “Right now the standards that we’re trying to meet are so high, and kindergarten is so important to start them with their phonics foundation so they’re able to master that once they enter first grade.”
Carrasco said the rhyming in Dr. Seuss books is one of the best ways to teach children how to read. “Reading is a book played in their minds. It can take you many places. It’s about their imagination while they’re reading that book or listening to that story.
“So we stress rhyming a lot in kindergarten — they need to know what rhyming words are, and it helps them to spell.”
At Missouri Avenue Elementary, kindergartners in Kristi Alford’s class enjoyed several Dr. Seuss classics throughout the day, including a reading of The Cat in the Hat from RISD’s Director of Federal Programs Harry Tackett.
Alford said the impact of Dr. Seuss cannot be understated. She said the fact so many people still love Dr. Seuss years after childhood proves that. “It’s just so much fun. I read Green Eggs and Ham this morning and they had a blast.
“Some of these books are mine from when I was a kid. I’ll pick them up at garage sales, Sam’s and Walmart. My husband thinks I have an addiction!”
Alford, too, stressed the importance of rhyming in her curriculum. “Something we’ve been trying to get across all year — and some get it and some don’t — is rhyming words. Well, guess what? One of them just got it today when I read that book.”
Tackett said Dr. Seuss books have been a part of his family collection for about 30 years. He said The Cat in the Hat has always been his favorite.
“This gives the students an idea to see that you never get tired of reading,” Tackett said. “Reading can be fun — it’s enjoyable, and I think when they see some of us adults come out and read to them and take that time, it emphasizes the importance of reading to them.”