The National Education Association’s Annual Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday are on March 2. Children throughout the nation will be involved in activities aimed at helping them become enthusiastic readers.
Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel), who spent the latter part of his life in La Jolla, continues to be one of the most beloved children’s book writers. Celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday is the perfect way to honor a man whose charming stories encourage kids to read. Dr. Seuss’ playful spirit lives on, so pick up a book and read … and think of the things you can do!
- Campus Celebration: Even big kids continue to be fans of Dr. Seuss, and what better way to celebrate than by going to the Geisel Library at the UC San Diego campus. In honor of the 107th birthday celebration, festivities begin at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, March 2, at the foot of Library Walk. You won’t be able to miss the giant inflatable Cat in the Hat. Audrey Geisel, Theodor Geisel’s widow, will cut the first of approximately 2,000 pieces of cake to be provided, and will be assisted by UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and university librarian Brian E.C. Schottlaender. will direct The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra in songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook. While there, you may be able to view part of The Dr. Seuss Collection. The approximately 10,000 items in the collection include original drawings, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia. Geisel Library at UC San Diego (center of campus across from Price Center), 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, 858-534-3336, libraries.ucsd.edu.
- Library Fun: Where else would you celebrate reading but at your local library? Check with your neighborhood library for some Dr. Seuss fun. The Encinitas Branch Library plans a Crazy Hat Day on Thursday, March 3, starting at 3 p.m. Children, and parents too, are encouraged to wear a crazy hat or make one in honor of Dr. Seuss. The library will be giving out birthday cake and have a special reading from Happy Birthday to You! Encinitas Branch Library, 540 Cornish Dr., Encinitas, 760-753-7376, sdcl.org.
- Go to School: Many elementary schools plan special events for Read Across America Day and will tie-in activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Buena Vista Elementary in Carlsbad begins the day at 8:15 a.m. with a schoolwide reading of the NEA’s Read Across America “Readers Oath” and continues with individual classroom activities. Find out what is going on in your child’s classroom and volunteer to spend some time reading together. Buena Vista Elementary, 1330 Buena Vista Way, Carlsbad, 760-331-5400, buenavista.schoolloop.com.
- Visit Seussville: Go to seussville.com and read all about Dr. Seuss. The website covers Dr. Seuss’ life and his achievements and has information for both parents and educators in developing reading activities. A guide of age-appropriate Dr. Seuss books is very helpful. You can also find links to Seussville events, audiobooks and various Dr. Seuss products.
- Buy Some Books. Reading on computers is great, but there’s nothing better than sitting down, cozying up and reading an actual book. Barnes & Noble in Encinitas has a wonderful selection of Dr. Seuss books, as well as everything else. Visit them during storytime every Tuesday at 11 a.m. This Tuesday, they will be reading Dr. Seuss books and have special Seuss goodies for the kiddies. Barnes & Noble, 1040 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, 760-943-6400. Additional locations in Costa Verde (UTC) and Del Mar.
- Have a Sleepover. The desire to read is best encouraged at home. Reading doesn’t have to be boring, and a Dr. Seuss-themed sleepover opens up a whole range of reading related activities. Guests can show up in their pajamas, bring their favorite Dr. Seuss books, cuddle up and start reading to each other. Kids can dress up as Dr. Seuss characters and create their own Seusslike stories. In the morning have some green eggs and ham (a little food coloring goes a long way). You can even play the Green Eggs and Ham Speedy Diner game ($19.99 at Target). Reading won’t seem like some homework chore where you need to keep track of minutes, as long as you make reading fun. Now how about that!
For more information about Read Across America Day, go to nea.org/readacross.