Dr. Seuss helps make reading fun for students
March 16, 2010
By Chantelle Lusebrink
With more than 300 students reading, March 4 was a night at Liberty High School to do Dr. Seuss proud — after all, it was the famed author’s birthday
Librarians throughout the south end helped students celebrate in style by hosting a Read Across America Read Aloud celebration honoring Seuss and his works.
“It was wonderful,” said Liberty High School librarian Irene Braillard. “Everyone had such a wonderful time.”
The evening is part of a national commitment to keep students and families reading aloud for fun. The night has been celebrated at Liberty for more than a decade, Braillard said.
Liberty students and faculty invite elementary school students from the school’s attendance area, which includes Apollo, Briarwood, Maple Hills and Newcastle elementary schools, for a night of reading and storytelling.
“They arrived in their pajamas, clutching pillows and stuffed animals in anticipation of hearing their favorite books read aloud,” Briarwood librarian Barbara Soel wrote in an e-mail. “There were many tall white-and-red striped hats among the crowd, as well as red-and-white helium balloons to help create a fun atmosphere for the kids.”
In addition, high school art students volunteered to paint students’ faces with fun Seuss-themed characters.
“I mostly enjoyed seeing the excitement on the painted faces of the children,” said Liberty student Leah Lynch. “The theme was Dr. Seuss, so everyone had cat whiskers on. But the best occurrence was when a young girl ran up to me and announced that she was a ‘pretty kitten.’ Her contagious smile stretched from ear to ear. It was heartwarming how happy she was.”
For every high school student leading a reading group, there were two or three other elementary school students listening in.
“What I think it does is let the little ones know that big kids read and big kids like it,” Braillard said. “It shows they’re lifelong learners and gives them something to look forward to.”
As proof, Braillard said this year she had several Liberty students who volunteered to read who had come to the event themselves about 10 years ago.
“They love reading to the younger students, because they remember going,” she added. “I think they also love to see their elementary librarians.”
“Read Across America is an important event for children, because it gives them an opportunity to socialize with different people in a variety of ages in a safe environment,” Leah said. “Events like these help with a child’s social and emotional development, which is crucial at a young age. Read Across America also encourages the importance of reading to children at a young age.”
To complete the night of fun, Liberty’s culinary program baked 16 dozen cookies for the event, which Braillard said were gone by the end of the night.
Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.