Landon Miller poses in the photo booth with 'The Cat in the Hat's' hat Saturday at the Upshur County Library during Read Across America Day. Families celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the joy of reading.

A day with Dr. Seuss: Families partake in fun even the Grinch would be sure to adore during ‘Read Across America Day’

TENNRTON – The Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday Saturday, March 2, at the Upshur County Public Library.

This is the second year they have arranged this event, dubbed “Read Across America Day,” which encouraged families to experience the joy of reading while celebrating the birthday of one of the most celebrated children’s authors, Dr. Seuss.

Larissa Deluca with Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers said that was because of the demand to have it again.

“It was so much fun for us last year, and we had a great turnout,” Deluca said. “We actually had a new family join our program last year because of coming to Dr. Seuss Day and she asked me this year ‘are you going to do Dr. Seuss again? Because we really want you to do it again.’”

Grayson Haymond plays ‘The Lorax’ Letter Match.

Dr. Seuss Day is one of the programs they offer that is available to the public, and Jamie Church said kids and parents are drawn to Dr. Seuss.

“Last year we would read the books, and the kids would just want us to read them over and over,” Church said. “Kids just gravitate to all the activities and the books immediately, and the books still have a meaning to their parents as well.”

So, who is Dr. Seuss anyway? Theodor Seuss Geisel was an author and illustrator who wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904, and died at age 87.

If still alive, Saturday would have been his 115th birthday.

Some of the activities Dr. Seuss Day attendees celebrated with were making your own truffula trees; signing a big birthday card to Dr. Seuss; a sensory station with bean bags made with socks; a photo area where people could wear the Lorax moustache or the cat in the hat’s hat; an assortment of books to read; and snacks.

Heather Miller, Gemma Miller and Patrick Miller work on making their own truffula trees from “The Lorax,” a children’s book widely considered to be a fable in which Dr. Seuss expressed concerns about degradation of the environment.

“We’ve had a lot of really wide eyes, especially from the kids because there’s so much going on at once,” DeLuca said. “But once they kind of get over that initial shock of ‘where do I go first?’ it seems like everybody has been really enjoying it. I’m so glad to see that all of the parents are out here working with their kids.”

Melissa Talbot and Charity Talbot enjoy reading a Dr. Seuss book.

DeLuca said an important part of their program is to encourage reading, and she thinks Dr. Seuss is the perfect way to do that.

“For me, it comes back to loving Dr. Seuss since I was a little girl and when I became a part of this program, I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate the love of Dr. Seuss and the love of reading into what we do for group connections,” she said.

Church said Lewis-Upshur Parents as Teachers offer activities every month for families in their program including picnics, pool parties and coming up in April, they will have a spring fling with an egg roll and other crafting opportunities.

Another family enjoys the simple pleasure of reading during Read Across America Day.

Anyone with questions about the program is invited to call 304-269-4000.

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