Education club uses Seuss to motivate young readers

Alyssa Conner

President Lester Lefton reads the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham” to a group of children present at the National Education Association’s Read Across America program. Children filled the Ballroom yesterday and participated in a multitude of reading-rel

Credit: DKS Editors

I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

For the first time, the Kent Student Education Association sponsored Read Across America to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and to promote reading for children.

There were around 200 children who attended the event from ages 4 to 11. It was held from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. yesterday in the Student Center Ballroom.

Read Across America was created by the National Education Association. It is one of the largest annual events to encourage and motivate children to read by celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday through reading activities.

“It is important to instill reading into kids at a young age with activities so they know that it’s fun to read and there’s fun ways to do it,” said Beth Serva, president-elect of KSEA and a sophomore education major. “It’s going to open the eyes to kids in the different ways that they can enjoy reading and we’re just trying to make it fun for them.”

KSEA had three of its own members dress up as Thing 1, Thing 2 and the Cat in the Hat as part of the event, which was open to nearby communities for children and parents.

“There are several stations set up that have to do with reading,” said KSEA President Danielle Sherritt. “Two are reading stations where they get to hear stories from the athletes, one is a bookmark making station, one is a puppet making station, one is songs that focuses around reading and there is a station that makes door handles saying ‘SHHH! I’m Reading.'”

A football player and two track and field athletes participated in the event.

Sherritt said it is nice to get the athletes involved because kids look up to them as role models and seeing the athletes reading will help motivate kids to read.

Leneric Muldrow, junior football player and physical education major, said he feels like he is giving back to the community and it’s a great feeling to have kids look up to him.

“When I was young I looked up to a lot of athletes,” he said. “I definitely feel they are looking up to me and I am sort of mentoring in a way, so I have to carry myself in a way they can appreciate and look up to me for whatever they want to do.”

Other guest readers involved in the event were Kent State President Lester Lefton and Donald Bubenzer, interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services. Each read well-known books by Dr. Seuss.

Lefton said he felt it was important for him to attend the event because children need to start good reading habits early.

“These are people of the future generation of America and starting them in good habits of reading and enjoying reading (and) being a life-long reader is fundamental to their development,” he said.

Additional to all of the guest speakers and activity stations, Sherritt said kids received goodie bags with a T-shirt, a pencil and a book, which was donated by an organization called First Book. Parents received a packet about tips on reading with their children.

Parent participant Maria Carbone said she brought her kids to the event to encourage reading and celebrate the success of Dr. Seuss books.

“We’re here because we really encourage our kids with reading,” she said. “We’ve also read a lot of Dr. Seuss books. They are such legendary books that have kicked off reading. This event is such a neat way to celebrate reading for the kids.”

The event ended with a birthday cake and song in memory of Dr. Seuss.

“I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!”

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Alyssa Conner at [email protected].