March 2 kicked off Dr. Seuss Spirit Week at Radix Elementary School. The celebration was held in conjunction with the national literacy initiative Read Across America, which is centered around author Theodor Seuss Geisel’s March 2 birthday each year.
For Dr. Seuss Spirit Week, Radix students dressed up as characters from popular books each themed day, along with reading related books by Dr. Seuss. On March 3, students wore matching outfits with a friend or sibling for Twin Day. The book of the day was “The Cat in the Hat,” which features characters Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Radix Principal Jill Delconte spoke fondly of Dr. Seuss and his unique impact on children’s love for reading. She believes his books are perfect to include for Read Across America.
“He’s such a renowned artist in the world of children’s literature that it just made sense,” Delconte said. “I think just acknowledging Dr. Seuss’s contributions to literature and early literacy too … you know his books are fun. Our final book this week is ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,’ so again some of his stories are inspirational in that regard.
“When we look at books like ‘Fox in Socks,’ we’re promoting early literacy again, and kids learn to rhyme. They’re looking at letters, sounds and patterns, and they can learn because of the repetition of the sounds. Kids can use these books to help themselves learn. So the books do become good tools to help kids.”
Read Across America was created by the National Education Association in 1997 and inspired by Dr. Seuss, which is why schools everywhere celebrate by reading his books. Read Across America’s mission is to “motivate kids to read, bring the joys of reading to students of all ages, and make all children feel valued and welcome.”
“It’s been recognized by the schools for decades, and I think it’s more important now than ever to acknowledge Read Across America because fewer and fewer kids these days are being read to at home,” explains Delconte.
“So, we take every opportunity we can to promote reading and using Dr. Seuss’ week in Read Across America to promote reading, in my opinion, is one of the best gifts we can give to kids. We want kids to learn to love to read. We recognize kids are struggling more and more because they are being read to less and less. This gives us the opportunity to make reading fun.”
Delconte hopes initiatives like Dr. Seuss Spirit Week help create a generation of kids who love to read.
“It’s the means to everything. Students who struggle to read tend to struggle with many aspects of life in general. Students who are struggling writers or readers will find school more difficult and may not have as many options as they grow up,” Delconte said. “The kids who are more confident readers tend to meet challenges a little more successfully. They’re able to access much of what the world has to offer when they can read. Those who can’t read unfortunately don’t have all the opportunities that everybody who can does.
“It’s important for us to develop this generation of readers so that they have no barriers when they grow up.”