MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, once said, “The more that you read, the more that you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss is the author and illustrator of more than 40 children’s books, and schools across the Department of Defense Education Activity celebrated his birthday with Read Across DoDEA Day March 3, 2014.
“In the U.S. they do Read Across America to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so DoDEA puts their own spin on it,” said Lisa Lemos, a kindergarten teacher at Matthew C. Perry Elementary School aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. “The basic idea is to dedicate the day to reading and here at M. C. Perry, the literacy committee put together an event called Drop Everything and Read.”
Drop Everything and Read applied to all grade levels and instructed the teachers to take time out of their curriculum to read with the students.
Lemos made the day extra special for her kindergarteners by bringing Dr. Seuss characters to the classroom for their reading time.
“The kids got to dress up like Cat in the Hat and we had Thing 1 and Thing 2 come to the classroom for a little extra excitement,” said Lemos. “It’s so important to celebrate an author who has inspired so many children to read.”
Dr. Seuss has already inspired one of Lemos’ students who said she loves to read and favors “Green Eggs and Ham”.
“I read for thirty minutes every night,” said Taylor Arun, 5, a Kindergarten student at M. C. Perry Elementary School. “I read to myself and my sister, I just like to keep on reading.”
Arun said she loves Dr. Seuss books because of his comical rhymes and interesting illustrations.
Although the spotlight is on reading for one day out of the year, Lemos said she tries to incorporate reading into every subject. She hopes to instill in her students a love of reading for the rest of their lives.
“They will use reading as long as they live, no matter what career path they choose, which is why it is so essential for them to enjoy it,” explained Lemos. “As teachers, it’s our job to teach them in a way that makes that possible.”
Whether it’s Dr. Seuss’ birthday or not, reading is an ability that people can celebrate year around.