Printed on a sign sitting outside the main office at Bowers Elementary School was a quote attributed to Dr. Seuss: “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!” At the school on Wednesday, March 2, the school celebrated Read Across America Day, also Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Students came to school in their pajamas. They sipped chocolate milk, nibbled on snacks, and listened to guest readers read aloud.
“We believe that literacy is the key to every student’s future success and we hope that by dedicating a day to reading, it’d inspire them to explore more books and become literate for life,” says Lisa Blanc, principal of Bowers School.
Showing her school spirit, second-grade teacher Cynthia Mallison sported red fleece one-piece pajamas in her class. Mallison sat with her students as Jodi Muirhead, district school board member, read aloud. Dr. Seuss’s “Fox in Socks” and David Shannon’s “Alice the Fairy” were among the books Muirhead shared.
“I’m always excited to get into classrooms and be with kids,” says Muirhead, who has participated in a number of reading events in the district. “I also read at Bower’s Read Across America last year.”
Asher, 7, enjoyed Muirhead’s reading of “Fox in Socks.”
“I felt happy being read to and I like Dr. Seuss books,” Asher says. “Reading is my second favorite subject in school, next to math. I like non-fiction books and the Magic Treehouse books. I’m also currently reading ‘Bridge to Terabithia.'”
On the classroom door of third-grade teacher Rachel Decker’s classroom were pictures of her students reading books with cut-outs of red and white hats on their heads. On a table was a spread of Dr. Seuss books. Guest reader Cari Reiswig, from the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team at San Jose State University, selected “The Lorax” to read aloud.
“It’s important for children to read and I think being read to makes the experience more lively and entertaining,” Reiswig says. “When I was in school, I read [most of the] Harry Potter series on tape. I read books one through seven on audio books and book eight, I read on my own. Listening to books on tape has driven me to read more. Hearing audio books has helped me create my own characters when I’m reading and it has also helped me listen for certain voices.”
Kacie, 8, enjoyed hearing Reiswig read “The Lorax.”
“I like being read to because it helps me focus on the book’s words,” Kacie says. “I used to read a lot of Cam Jansen books but I stopped because now I’m looking for something to read that’s more challenging.”