Dr. Seuss honored at Oquirrh Hills

March 27, 2013
Author: Sara Weikel | Taylorsville/Kearns Journal

What better way to celebrate the birthday of a beloved children’s author than with a special reading day? That’s just what students at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School did to honor Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss.

A group of JCPenney’s employees volunteered their time at the school on March 1. They talked with students about the importance of reading, played games with them, and read Dr. Seuss books aloud. A couple of them went all out and came dressed as the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat.

In addition to celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday—which is actually on March 2--the reading day was part of the national “Read across America” program.

“It’s encouraging students to get excited about reading,” United Way Volunteer Community Engagement Director Heather MacDonald said.

United Way of Salt Lake was responsible for coordinating the event, acting as a liaison between Oquirrh Hills and the JCPenney employees.

The day started with a kickoff assembly, during which the third grade performed songs from “Seussical the Musical.” Each of the volunteers visited three different classrooms throughout the day, and gave the books to the school before they left.

“[The students] loved it,” Oquirrh Hill’s Title 1 Literacy Coach Trudy Adam said. “Mid-year it gave us another incentive to read.”

The students will have further reading incentives in the form of contests throughout the month. Trivia questions will be given during morning announcements, and any students who answer them correctly will have their names entered in a prize drawing. A Cat-in-the-Hat poster contest will also give them opportunities to win, with the 20 or so books donated by the volunteers as the prizes.

The ultimate goal of all these activities is to develop reading into a lifelong habit for each student, whether it is for learning or just for fun, Adam said.

“Any activity that sparks their interest and gives them encouragement is helpful,” she said.

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Jerilyn Stowe
Vice President of Marketing & Communication
jerilyn@uw.org 801.736.7709