To celebrate Read Across America week, Ste. Genevieve National Education Association (SGNEA) surprised elementary students with a visit from the Cat in the Hat. NEA sponsors Read Across America every year to celebrate reading and promote literacy across the nation. Schools focus on author’s purpose and various styles of writing, with the students especially enjoying Dr. Seuss’ rhyming and sing-song style.
Senior Lauren Mercer has dressed up as the Cat in the Hat the past two years for Read Across America. This year, eighth graders Lani Yamnitz and Ariella Taylor dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
“I volunteered to be the Cat because I love being able to interact with the kids and bring them something exciting and different for their school day!” Lauren Mercer said. She loves seeing the shock on the students’ faces when she walks through the door. Some even run up and give her a hug, and the smaller kids play with her tail or ask about the three-fingered gloves.
Throughout the week, community members are also invited to come read to students. Other activities include include dress-up days, contests, writing assignments and math projects all centered around Dr. Seuss and his work.
“Motivating children to read is an important factor in their success at school, as well as success in life,” SGNEA Bloomsdale Elementary building representative and kindergarten teacher Dana Palmer said. “Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school. With children spending so much time on electronics, it is more important than ever to get books into their hands.”