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"Would you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.” Sound familiar? If you have young children, chances are that you know exactly who wrote these words. It is probably safe to say that every household has at least a few books by the beloved author, Dr. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Tomorrow would have been his 115th birthday. Since today is the closest day to his actual birthday, it has been designated Read Across America Day. Although it is a day to honor Dr. Seuss, it is also part of an annual reading motivation and awareness program started by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1997.
Read Across America is designed to motivate children to read and celebrate reading. Research has shown that the more children read, the better they do in school. Today schools across America will participate in activities to celebrate reading and the life of the famous author Dr. Seuss.
So what can you do with your child today to celebrate reading and honor Dr. Seuss?
The easy answer is……..Read.
Keep it simple, but make it fun. Read in your PJs. Read with a flashlight. Wear your PJs and read together under the covers with a flashlight.
Visit a library. Most libraries will probably have their own Read Across America activities. Check out as many Dr. Seuss books as you can and read them aloud. The silly rhymes and tongue twisters are almost as much fun to read aloud as they are to hear. This year’s Read Across America theme is celebrating a nation of diverse readers so choose some books that represent different cultures and experiences. Visit www.readacrossamerica.org for a list of recommended books.
Have a Read-A-Thon: See how many books you can read and how many hours you can spend reading. Set a goal and pick a fun reward for achieving it like making (and eating) green eggs and ham or buying a new book. You may be surprised at how long your child can continue reading especially if you are doing it with them and you make it feel extraordinary.
Older kids can get involved in the fun too. They can invite friends over for a book club after school. Perhaps everyone has to come over dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss character and/or bring a snack related to a Dr. Seuss book. For example, make skewers that look like his iconic red and white hat by alternating strawberries or raspberries and marshmallows.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it! Dr. Seuss was known for his wacky sense of humor and his zest for life. “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good,” from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.Visit www.nea.org and www.seusville.com for more reading resources and activities.