(Better late than never….this blog post has been sitting in “draft” mode for several weeks now…..)
Just as many students and schools nationwide participate in NEA’s Read Across America celebration, we, too, honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday with our annual Dr. Seuss Night. Read Across America is just one of the ways our school community shares the very important message with its stakeholders that reading is fundamental to being a life-long learner. Dr. Seuss Night is one of our most popular events & well-attended events. It’s truly a beloved event that students look forward to each year. Much planning and preparation goes into the event, and the event would not be possible without the support of each volunteer.
The students participate in Dr. Seuss activities all throughout the week leading up to the big event. Each day is a different “theme day” where students participate in dressing the part, and listening to “mystery readers” read stories over the loud-speaker, trying to identify who the reader is & what book they are reading. Seuss-themed snacks are prepared to be sold the evening of Dr. Seuss Night, and teams of teachers worked on creative photo-booths and other decorations. Each day, students go home with a Dr. Seuss “treat” such as a pencil, eraser, bookmark and sticker, to remind them of this very special week. The hallways of the school are adorned with projects around the famous author and his books, creating a welcoming environment for our guests.
The evening starts off in the gymnasium, where children and their families sing “Happy Birthday” to the beloved author, Dr. Seuss. A cake is escorted into the gym by The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Families then make their way to the first of four reading sessions of the evening. Each of our 30 classrooms is filled with guest readers including school board members, village trustees, our mayor, members of the police and fire departments, players from the Chicago Steel, and the teachers/ staff of our district. After each reading session, books are raffled off to the children in attendance in each classroom before they move on to the next story of their choice. Families then make their way to the gymnasium and cafeteria to enjoy birthday cake & snacks sold by our parent organization. Throughout the week, parents volunteered their time to come in and prepare snacks to be sold the evening of our event. Raffle tickets are also sold for prizes such as lunch with the principals, a ride to school on the fire truck, gift certificates to local restaurants, sports memorabilia, and tickets to sporting events.
How does your school celebrate Read Across America?