Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

I’ve been with the students, and there’s something they’re needing
Oh what could it be? Oh yes, it’s more reading
I am the superintendent, and I speak for the young
Please help in my mission. The work’s never done

Thank you for indulging me as I attempt to channel author Theodor Seuss Geisel, known by most as the beloved Dr. Seuss. It’s his birthday today and the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. To celebrate, I got to share a favorite Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham,” with students at Hollis Elementary School.

I love watching children as I read to them – the light in their eyes, the happy expressions on their faces, their engagement in learning new words.

Literacy is one of my true passions. Reading to a child or letting a child read to you is a gift of immeasurable weight. Reading is the foundation for learning. If you can’t read, you really can’t do anything else. By teaching children to read we can help improve their chances of doing well in the future – in college or the military, in a future career, in life.

Dr. Seuss found a way to tap into a child’s mind and make reading fun and enjoyable. He’s had a huge impact on reading for at least three generations of children. And adults who read his books are equally charmed by his whimsical and musical approach to language.

This weekend, his classic tale “The Lorax” comes to theaters, and I’m sure children and adults will be entranced all over again by this story. I hope it drives them to reread the book.

There’s a line at the end of this book that has special meaning for me as the Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”

I encourage you to care about reading to children, whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, a teacher or a community member. By sharing a love of reading, you can change the life of a child.

Teaching someone to read, now that is of value indeed!

Last updated on March 2, 2012