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Read Across America

Mar 4, 2013
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Last Friday and today I participated in Read Across America.  Theoretically it’s celebrated on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd.  Schools, libraries and community centers invite readers to come and read to children.  
I miss being in the classroom, so for me reading in the classroom on a special day is great fun.  Seeing the enthusiasm that builds when the children reach the rhymey parts of Dr. Seuss are somehow meant for choral chanting, in English or Spanish.
There are the other benefits that come from reading Dr. Seuss in Spanish.  With the kiddoes at San Rafael’s bilingual English/Spanish class, we talked a little about the value of being bilingual or multilingual.  The fact that being a translator is a job.  This was mixed in between reading “Huevos verdes y jamón” and “Hay un molillo en my bolsillo”.*
Photo – Alyson Beecher
At Madison Elementary School 5th graders and I talked about rhyming, as well learning about social order.  Or so it seemed.  I picked Yertle because it had a shiny cover.  Didn’t know that the text, like “Horton Hears a Who”, was about voices being heard – especially those voices that aren’t always included in decision making.  
Today with the students at Cleveland Elementary School I read “And to Think I Saw on Mulberry Street”. We had a chance to talk about time and place. 
In each case the children were happy to have a grown up come and read to them.  For some children it was reminding them that what they enjoy at night in their home is also valued in the larger world.  For others it was a chance to introduce them to the idea that we are all part of a larger community.  
Perhaps you’d like to read in a classroom.  It can have such a deep impact.  
You can go any time of the year and it doesn’t have to be Dr. Seuss.
*”Green Eggs and Ham”, “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket”.
A teeny disclaimer – I used the Yertle cover, which is of course by Dr. Seuss, because the resolution is so low I can’t profit from it.  




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