Dozens of community guests converged on Abney Elementary School March 1 to take part in the Read Across America program which celebrates the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss. Schools throughout St. Tammany joined in by holding special “Reader Days” bringing in special guests from the community to read their favorite children’s books to elementary classes.
The “Read Across America” program is promoted by the National Education Association.
At Abney Elementary, guest readers included Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan, Police Chief Randy Smith, several police officers, Central Office Supervisors, local business leaders from Wal-mart, Sams Club, and Winn Dixie, visitors from the St. Tammany Parish Library, other school principals, parents, numerous students from Salmen High School, and Miss St. Tammany Heritage Olivia Ruby.
Principal Mike Alford greeted parents in car line in the morning dressed in his Dr. Seuss “Cat in the Hat” costume, with a large portion of the faculty also dressed as Dr. Seuss characters. Guest readers were able to choose what book they wanted to read from a large stack, and many chose their favorite books from their own childhood.
“Today is our Literacy Day,” said Serena Bush, the literacy interventionist at Abney. “We are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday and getting kids excited about reading. This morning we had the Great Book Giveaway where the students were given free books, and we also had parent workshops where they were informed about our Accelerated Reader program."
The principal issued a proclamation that said, “Whereas the citizens of Abney Elementary School stand firmly committed to promoting reading as the catalyst for our students’ future academic success, their preparation for America’s jobs of the future, and their ability to compete in a global economy, we call upon the citizens of St. Tammany Parish to assure that every child is in a safe place reading together on March 1, 2013.”
Now in its fourteenth year, the “Read Across America” program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. The national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.
Click here for photographs from the day-long event.