Dr. Seuss' Birthday Party at Yokota
Yokota Air Base, Japan -- “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child,” said Dr. Seuss.
Each year America celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday with National Read Across America Day. It encourages people to bring reading into the lives of children in an enjoyable way.
Yokota’s West Elementary School celebrated the day with various activities designed to encourage and show the enjoyment in reading to children.
The first event was the Seuss Café; it included snacks for kids while volunteers came to read with them.
“They didn’t even know they were having fun reading,” said Sheryl Woodruff, Yokota West Elementary School reading specialist. “It was a priceless moment.”
The school also organized a Dr. Seuss Family Night event. There were various activates for families including: oobleck (slime) making, face painting, cake decorating, green eggs and ham, photo booth and more.
“The main goal of the day was to get kids to see reading as fun and not a chore,” said Woodruff.
Over thirty volunteers from the 374th Logistics and Reediness Squadron and the Yokota ROTC helped throughout the evening event.
National Read Across America Day was created by the National Education Association, and has many celebrity readers over the years including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and actor LaVar Burton.
The NEA chose to celebrate the holiday on Dr. Seuss’ birthday because of his creative accomplishments in the children’s book genre.
In 1943 during World War II, Dr. Seuss joined the United States Army Air Forces as a Captain. He was the first commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit in Hollywood, Calif., later known as Combat Camera.
After WWII, Dr. Seuss returned to writing children’s books. It was during this time that he wrote many of his fan’s favorites including; “Horton Hears A Who”, “The Cat in the Hat”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “Green Eggs and Hams.”
“The Cat in the Hat” was written somewhat as a challenge after a report on illiteracy among school children came out in 1954. The study concluded that part of the problem was children found the books they were reading boring.
Dr. Seuss was challenged to write a book using 250 of the most important words that first graders should know in a way that would be hard for young readers to put down. He used 225 of the words given to him in “The Cat in the Hat.”
According to the NEA Dr. Seuss wanted children to realize the joy of reading; because of this and his many accomplishments in the children’s book genre, his birthday was chosen for the National Read Across America Day.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go,” Dr. Seuss.