Today at Edison Elementary School,
kids ran around, but there was one rule:
'Listen to those that are reading aloud.'
As parents watched feeling oh-so-proud
that their child was learning to love books
on this fun day that got them all hooked.
March 2 isn't just Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel's birthday (b. 1904), it's National Read Across America Day. At Edison Elementary School, the community came together to celebrate in a fun way.
"Today is Dr. Seuss' birthday, it is also Read Across America Week, and this is our culminating activity for our preschool program," said Erica Andrews, Superintendent of the Edison Elementary School District.
In order to get the students excited about reading, the school staff dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters. The children were given the opportunity to have their faces painted and craft costumes of their own.
"It's really important for them to use their imaginations, but they also love to see the pages come to life, so we are really excited. We want to show them that reading is fun," said Andrews.
Local nonprofit United Way of Kern County had visited Edison Elementary on March 1 as well to promote literacy. According to UWKC Director of Marketing and Development Gabriel Adame, they distributed books to families and students to encourage reading at an early age.
"We focus on early childhood literacy. We see the data, that if the parents and caregivers start reading to them, interacting with them with reading, they develop a relationship with reading," said Adame. "So instead of reading just to read, they're reading to learn, and that's our goal. We've seen it, again, data where it will help in their high school and college educations."
The day was the culmination of several community entities coming together to make National Read Across America Day a memorable one for the preschoolers of Edison Elementary.
Preschool site supervisor Rosalva Banuelos calls the school's investment in early childhood literacy a blessing.
"Reaching out to United Way, our parents, our district, we are so blessed to have a district that really values preschool early learning, so it's just really a partnership that we need to build with the community to put something like this together," said Banuelos.
"I don't know who looks forward to it more, the kids or the staff. We love it so much, but it really is to celebrate a week of literacy," said Andrews. "I've been superintendent for 14 years and the kiddos that were in TK and preschool who I read to as Cat in the Hat ten years ago, they're in eighth grade now, and they still call me Cat."
Literacy advocates say promoting childhood literacy is important in Kern County, where last year, only 38 percent of students met or exceeded the state standard in Language Arts.