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NEA's Read Across America Campaign: Reading is Power | Community Spirit

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NEA's Read Across America Campaign: Reading is Power
NEA's Read Across America Campaign: Reading is Power

Celebrate Reading with Dr. Seuss

Read to Succeed Buffalo has been working hard to engage the community in supporting Dr. Seuss’s Birthday on March 2nd, 2011, as part of the National Education Association (NEA) campaign “Read Across America.”  We have 100+ sites and 10,000+ children who have signed up. The NEA has been sponsoring Dr. Seuss’s Birthday since 1998 and this is the first time Western New York has been on the map supporting this campaign.  The national database now includes 100+ sites from our community.

Children and adults enjoy the books created and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.  His books show the value of learning for children and their need for creative material to allow their imaginations to explore and explode into learning.

Dr. Seuss recognized that if children were entertained with a story, they would want to learn to read.  During his childhood, his mother influenced him with the stories she shared and the rhymes she used.  This was his inspiration throughout his career.  Parents can pass this tradition on to their children today by creating a culture of literacy at home that inspires their children to use their imaginations to explore the world around them.

Celebrating reading with Dr. Seuss is a way for us to keep alive the tradition of helping young minds dream.  Read to Succeed Buffalo is creating family literacy programming that provides fun learning experiences both for children from birth to age five and their parents.  We are paving the way for children to become better prepared for Kindergarten.  We need 100% individual and community participation to help our children succeed. 

Become a child’s inspiration.  “Whether rich or poor, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain.” (Mariah Evans, University of Nevada-Reno, 2010).  On March 2, the National Education Association, the sponsor of Read Across America, along with Read to Succeed Buffalo, calls for every child to read in the presence of a caring adult.

Recommended Beginning Reader Books:

  • Ten Apples Up on Top: Teaches children how to have fun while learning about friendship, counting, and colors.
  • Green Eggs & Ham: Uses rhymes and humor to point out the importance of not judging something before you’ve tried it.
  • The Cat in the Hat: One of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, its rhymes, quirky characters and life lessons make this book particularly appealing.
  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back: Once again, while mother is out, the Cat in the Hat enlivens things for the two kids left at home!
  • And to Think I saw it on Mulberry Street: A child imagines what they have seen that day on their walk home.
  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins: Geared towards 4-8 year olds, this book teaches that removing your hat is a sign of respect.
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: An inspirational book that provides an uplifting sendoff in Dr. Seuss style for people entering a new phase in their lives.
  • Horton Hears a Who!  A book that stresses such qualities as integrity, respect and responsibility.
  • The Lorax: Proves the dangers of not caring about the environment.

A little about Dr. Seuss himself:

Theodor Geisel was born in Springfield, MA on March 2, 1904 and died in 1991 at the age of 87. His mother, Henrietta Seuss Geisel often soothed her children to sleep by “chanting” rhymes remembered from her youth.  Ted credited his mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known.  He was a graduate of Dartmouth College and attended Oxford University where he studied literature.  While at Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who admired his cartoon sketches in his lecture notes, though Theodor did not have formal art training.  In 1927, he married Helen and the couple moved to New York.  For sixty years, he cleverly created with pen and brush and fine-tuned words that are repeated by children around the world today.

Interesting Fact about “The Cat in the Hat”

Dr. Seuss’s most famous book and his first bestseller was The Cat in the Hat (1957). It is a story about two children who find themselves at home alone with a roguish, hat-wearing feline with bad manners. With only 223 vocabulary words and much repetition, it is 1,629 words in length and uses a vocabulary of only 236 distinct words, of which 54 occur once and 33 appear twice.  Only a single word- another- has three syllables, while 14 have two and the remaining 221 are monosyllabic.  The longest words are something and playthings. It is ideally suited for beginning readers and became a lively alternative to the “Sally, Dick & Jane Series: See Spot Run,” a classic from the 1930’s. 

The title for the book came from his desire to have the title words rhyme and the first two suitable rhyming words that he could find from the list were cat and hat


Please visit www.readtosucceedbuffalo.org for more tips and resources for parents.  If you would like to comment on this article, please send comments via email to: porterd@rtsb.org.

Ms. Porter is the Community Outreach/Marketing Coordinator for Read to Succeed Buffalo, Inc.

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