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Danbury Celebrates Read Across America Day

Students at Park Avenue School celebrated Read Across America Day Friday with Dr. Seuss-themed reading and activities. Photo Credit: Jes Siart
Patty Simcoe, a teacher at Park Avenue School who organized the school's Dr. Seuss activities, stands near one of the many whimsically decorated classroom doors. Photo Credit: Jes Siart

DANBURY, Conn. – Danbury schools were full of the wacky, rhyming tales of Dr. Seuss Friday as students, teachers, parents and community members celebrated Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

“We’re trying to get people to get excited about reading,” said Patty Simcoe, a second-grade teacher at Park Avenue School who organized guest readers and Seuss-themed decorations at the school. “This year, we really tried to involve parents.”

Read Across America Day is a National Education Association reading initiative created 16 years ago. It is done on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2, or the closest school day to that date. Simcoe said at least two dozen parents and other volunteers visited Park Avenue School Friday to read Dr. Seuss books to students.

Students also were involved in the day’s activities, with fifth-graders partnering with younger classrooms to read books and help create Dr. Seuss-themed door decorations. Doors were decorated with images, words and crafts inspired by "The Lorax," "Horton Hears a Who," "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish" and more.

“I went and read "The Cat in the Hat,” said Karen, and 11-year-old student who read to a second-grade classroom as part of the holiday. “It was a good experience because it’s fun to work with younger kids.”

Karen helped the second-graders decorate their classroom door with the Cat’s iconic red-and-white-striped hat, an activity she said she found on the social network site Pinterest.

Another student reader said she was well prepared for her role.

“It was tough because the book had a lot of rhyming words and made up words, but I practiced a lot,” said Stephanie, a 10-year-old student. “We also made a lot of crafts.”

Others saw the leadership role as a jumping off point for bigger and better things.

“It was great because one day I want to be president so it’s good to practice public speaking,” said Michael, an 11-year-old student. Whether the students liked to read in a box with a fox or with a goat in a boat, there was no shortage of Dr. Seuss fans enjoying the holiday and fun of reading Friday.

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