More than a half-century after his most famous works were published, Dr. Seuss is still a formidable presence in the nation's schools.
On Thursday, Jamestown Public Schools participated in the observance of National Read Across America Day - which is officially slated for Sunday in recognition of what would have been the 110th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Approximately 35 Jamestown High School students took part in the observance by dispersing throughout the district's five elementary schools and reading selected works from Seuss' anthology. Many of the JHS student volunteers, consisting primarily of members of National Honor Society and/or Key Club, arrived at their assigned classrooms wearing the infamous red and white hat as seen in Seuss' book, "The Cat in the Hat."
Three Jamestown High School freshmen read Dr. Seuss’ “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” to students in Beth Strong’s kindergarten class at Love Elementary School. The freshmen, from left, are Tori Dallas, Alyssa Abbott and Maria McIlvain.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
Donnelle Conti, a 10th-grade global studies teacher at JHS and National Honor Society adviser, said JPS has participated in Read Across America for more than a decade, and many of today's high school volunteers hold fond memories of their own observance of the day as elementary school students.
oing (Read Across America) for about 20 years, and we always have the high school kids go down and read," said Conti. "All of my high school kids will pick their favorite Dr. Seuss book, and then they get their shift and they go out to the elementary schools. And the high school kids come back so excited, they love this."
"Many of the student readers remember when high school students came into their elementary classroom to read and are excited to return the favor," she added. "This is such a great event and a wonderful coordination between elementary teachers, librarians and the high school."
Seuss, who died in 1991, is best remembered for his nonsensical words and his ability to flawlessly weave morality into his stories without lowering the entertainment value of his plots. His birthdate of March 2 has been adopted by the National Education Association as the annual date for the Read Across America initiative, which is generally observed in the education system on the school day that is closest to his birthdate.