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Cat in the Hat Visits Sperry Elementary During Read Across America Week

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Cat in the Hat Visits Sperry Elementary Students

During the first week of March, Sperry elementary students took part in the National Education Association’s Read Across American project.  Read Across America is the largest reading event in the United States and is centered around the birthday of Theodor Geisel, known to millions as Dr. Seuss.  During this week, schools across the country plan fun “Seuss-themed” activities to help encourage students to engage in reading.  Sperry Public Schools has used this opportunity to increase reading interest for several years, and student interest has always been high. The week included various dress up days, crafts, songs, and most importantly, reading activities to get students actively engaged and excited about the skill of reading.

To celebrate the week, students were encouraged to participate in a Dr. Seuss themed spirit week. A different book was spotlighted each day. To honor the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go, students were encouraged to “dress as what you want to be when you grow up.”  With student imagination guiding them, there was a plethora of career choices.  The classrooms at Sperry Elementary and Intermediate were filled with chefs, moms, professional sports players, teachers, train engineers, and firemen to name just a few of the more popular choices.  On another day of the activities, students wore their favorite or “wackiest” hats to school, and once again their imagination filled the classrooms with a wide range of wackiness.  On Thursday, students dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss character.  Seuss characters that could be seen in both buildings included Loraxes with truffula trees, several pairs of Thing 1 and Thing 2, and schools of Red Fish and Blue Fish.  The week concluded with The Sleep Book, for which students wore pajamas to school.

On March 2nd, students in pre-k through 3rd grades entered the auditorium filled with excitement as they sported their favorite Dr. Seuss costume.  The elementary and intermediate each held their own assembly where activities were held for the crowd of students dressed as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters.  During both assemblies, songs from various Dr. Seuss inspired movies played in the background.  Once the programs began, The Cat in the Hat himself kicked off the assemblies by discussing the importance of reading to the students.  Everyone then enjoyed watching a video depicting the top ten Dr. Seuss books of all time.  The students got to see animation of various books and learned facts regarding many of Dr. Seuss’s most famous books.  As a follow-up to the video, the students participated in a trivia game created by Mrs. Alsabrook and Mrs. Krumm, Sperry Elementary’s reading specialists.  Prior to the assembly, all students were given a Dr. Seuss bookmark with a number written on the back.  As numbers were drawn, each student came to the front of the auditorium to answer a trivia question about a Dr. Seuss book.  Of course, they could ask for help from their classmates if the question was too tricky.  Prizes awarded by Mrs. Alsabrook and Mrs. Krumm, included Dr. Seuss books with coordinating plush animals.

Every student came to the auditorium with a book in hand, and the assembly concluded with a few minutes of reading.  Some students enjoyed reading quietly while others chose to read with a buddy or even one of the many adults who participated in the program.  “I think the adults enjoy this as much as the students do,” Elementary Principal Richard Akin said of the activity.  “And that’s an important part of this whole program, to encourage not just the students to read, but for families to read together.”

“Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school,” Mrs. Alsabrook said.  “Our goal of this motivating week focused on reading is that it will inspire students well beyond the walls of the school and have them reading many different genres at home as well.”