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Reading Celebrates Dr. Seuss
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Sierra View Elementary kindergarten students Manuel Castaneda, Gage Holzum and Ava Cabral work on their math skills with a One Fish, Two Fish exercise led by teacher Deborah Hicks. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Monday was a real page turner, all across Oakdale.

Students in Oakdale schools joined the thousands of others as they participated in the 18th Annual ‘Read Across America’ day, with additional events to mark the occasion hosted at the Oakdale Library.

First begun in 1997 by the National Education Association, the NEA webpage defines the day as: “an annual reading motivation awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.”

Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Seuss Geisel, is touted as one of the most well-known and beloved authors of all time. He would have celebrated his 111th birthday.

He is the author and illustrator of 46 children’s books, 11 of which were adapted to television specials, four feature films and a Broadway musical. He was a Pulitzer Prize winner, as well as Peabody and Academy award winner.

In observance of the literary genius, his work and celebration of his birth, school sites hosted varying activities in addition to reading. From crafting the signature red and white striped Seuss hat, creating images of themselves reading a favorite Seuss novel or doing math with gold fish, the author was honored by students in many creative ways.

Maintaining what is now a tradition, Oakdale High School creative writing and computer graphics students visited several of the elementary campuses to share original children’s story books which they had created. The OHS students were invited into the classrooms of the primary aged students where they listened attentively. Upon conclusion of their reading, the high school students fielded questions from their younger counterparts.

At the Oakdale library, Mayor Pat Paul and library staff read their favorite Dr. Seuss books to youngsters, while visitors could also make a wacky hat, and enjoy a piece of ‘Seussical’ birthday, with the Monday festivities sponsored by the Friends of the Oakdale Library.

The objective of Read Across America is to motivate children to read. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

And, in the words of Dr. Seuss himself: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”