Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

By Staff
John Hicks FCT Staff Writer
Hundreds of Russellville Elementary students joined others across the county as they celebrated the birthday of legendary children's author Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel Thursday and took part in a variety of programs that highlighted the importance of reading.
As part of the "relax and read" activity, students were given the option of wearing their pajamas to school or dressing up as a character from a book. Teachers joined in the costume fun during the day-long celebration.
Teachers set up a "cultural cafe" featuring multicultural books and samples of food dishes from around the world. Students were able to take advantage of rocking chairs in the school's media center to "rock and read" while enjoying their favorite books.
Richard Parker, minister of youth at First Baptist Church of Russellville, kicked off the day's activities at Russellville Elementary with an intercom reading of Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!" Like most of Dr. Seuss's works, the book encourages children to exercise their imaginations and be creative.
"This is our way of saying, 'Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss,'" said Karen Hall, Russellville Elementary librarian. "It's also part of Read Across America, which is the National Education Association's annual reading motivation and awareness program."
Other activities students participated in at RES on Thursday were a "Seuss Sock Hop" in the gym, and a "book parade" of students wearing sandwich boards featuring their own book cover designs. Students competed to see who could design the best book cover.
Read Across America began in 1998 as a way to celebrate reading on or around Dr. Seuss's birthday. Over 40 national organizations and associations support the NEA program.

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