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Celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday

Elizabeth Hauschildt, Ayla Otto dressed up as “Thing One” and “Thing Two” to accompany Kevin Grams as “The Cat in the Hat” at the Piedmont “Seuss Family Night” on Tuesday (Photo by Jaime Jost)1 / 3
Hermione Linn colors a striped hat like the one in “The Cat in the Hat” with help from volunteer Michelle McDonald at the Duluth Public Library (Photo by Teri Cadeau)2 / 3
A group of children and parents gathered around to listen to “The Cat in the Hat” read by Ali Michie. (Photo by Teri Cadeau)3 / 3

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” wrote Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss in his book “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.”

This idea is the inspiration behind “Read Across America” day, which took place this year on March 3. “Read Across America” is a program by the National Education Association created to encourage children to read and celebrate reading on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. This year Seuss would be 110-years-old This year’s event was pushed back a day due to March 2 falling on a Sunday.

On Monday evening, a special Seuss storytime happened at the Duluth Public Library. Students from the Education Minnesota Student Association from the University of Minnesota Duluth read “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” to a captive audience of about 40 pajama-clad children and their parents.

“We were happy to have them,” said Susan Schumacher, the library’s youth services coordinator.

The UMD teaching students got the idea while attending a fall conference for Education Minnesota, according to Ali Michie, the group’s treasurer.

“We heard about Read Across America and thought it would be a great thing to bring to Duluth. So we got in touch with the library and picked out some Dr. Seuss books,” said Michie.

Two (almost 3)-year-old Hermione Linn listened with attention to the story. Her mother, Caro Linn says Hermione loves Dr. Seuss stories — she loves them before bed, she loves to read them in her head.

“She loves ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ Whenever we go to the library she’ll go and pick it out,” said Linn.

In fact Hermione loves the book so much, she would ask her mother to read it to her twice every day.

“She could tell me the story at that point,” said Linn.

After the story volunteers helped the children with one of two art projects. Kids could make either a “Cat in the Hat” hat and whiskers cutout or decorate a paper plate with “Thing One” and “Thing Two” handprints.

“I came up with the art projects,” said Michie. “The supplies were donated by both the library and the organization.”

The library wasn’t the only place filled with Dr. Seuss themed crafts this week.

Piedmont Elementary was invaded with “truffula trees” created by the Minnesota Reading Corps members as a part of their “Seuss Family Night” on March 4. Truffula trees are a fictional tree species from the Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax.” Volunteer coordinator Jaime Jost said the kids enjoyed seeing the trees “planted” around Piedmont.

In addition to the decorations, the celebration included games, craft activities, a photo booth, and quiet reading area all centered around the many works of Dr. Seuss. Some volunteers dressed up in Seuss-themed clothing.

“We had a great group of volunteers. Some of them were ongoing volunteers and many of them were from the Duluth Rotary Club,” said Jaime Jost, Volunteer Coordinator. “We were able to serve around 120 people, including both students and their families.”

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Budgeteer.

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