Oh, the reading they’re doing, at Kent schools


Students in Mrs. Waterman’s second-grade class at Neely-O’Brien Elementary listen as Superintendent Barbara Grohe reads to them during Read Across America Day Feb. 27.

Students in Mrs. Waterman’s second-grade class at Neely-O’Brien Elementary listen as Superintendent Barbara Grohe reads to them during Read Across America Day Feb. 27.

Down at the corner at the end of the block,

In a second-grade classroom behind a door that’s unlocked,

There sat the super, just reading away,

A Dr. Seuss book in honor of Dr. Seuss’ day!

It was rhymes and silliness, with as serious message underneath, all across America and the Kent school district this past week, as schools everywhere celebrated the birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel with the annual Read Across America day.

Every year on or about March 2, community members take time out of their day to pop into a local school and read with the kids.

According to Superintendent Barbara Grohe, who made an appearance Feb. 27 at Neely-O’Brien Elementary, the idea is to show children that even as adults, reading is important.

“Children need to see reading as a part of your life, all the time,” she said after reading the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh The Places You’ll Go” to Sharon Waterman’s second-grade class.

Grohe said she choose the book because it is her favorite of Seuss’s works and said going into classrooms, especially to read to the kids, is “the best part of my job.”

Grohe said she also looked forward to any opportunity to read Dr. Seuss, whose books she said were “universal.”

“No matter what age you are, there’s something in Dr. Seuss for you,” Grohe said.

Second-grader Sincere Peneveta, 8, agreed.

“Dr. Seuss books are cool because they are for little kids and big kids,” he said.

Around the class and throughout the school, walls were decorated with Seuss characters ranging from Sneetches to Marvin K. Mulrooney to the Cat in the Hat.

According to the guest board in the classroom, Grohe’s visit was preceded by a firefighter and would be followed by a Boeing employee that afternoon.

Through the district, guests were scheduled to read to children all day Monday, including Mayor Suzette Cooke and members of the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Waterman said having guests in helped reinforce the importance of reading and allowed the kids to see the way other people thought about things.

“They help them make connections with real life,” she said.

The kids said they were happy to have people come in and read and loved hearing the Dr. Seuss stories.

“I like Dr. Seuss books because they rhyme,” said Himber Zarate-Montano, 7.

“I like Dr. Seuss books because they are funny,” said Alamjit Choat, 8.

But before leaving the classroom, Grohe used her book to encourage the kids to explore the Places in their world, especially the library, telling them that books can take them anywhere.

“The nice thing about the library is you get to go where ever the book is going,” she told the kids.

Even a place where cats wear hats, eggs are green and even a grinch’s heart can grow three sizes in one day.

Oh, the places to go...

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentnews.us.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://kentnews.us/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent Police to offer teen academy for students in June

For high school students interested in law enforcement career

Madeline Goldsmith. COURTESY PHOTO
No suspect yet in July 2023 Kent murder of Madeline Goldsmith

Someone fatally shot 18-year-old Kentwood High graduate as she sat in vehicle near Lake Meridian

Police bust mother, daughter in Kent for retail crime spree

Two reportedly joined one other woman in 3-state crime ring taking women’s clothing from Lululemon

Reith Road in Kent to get two new roundabouts this year

City Council approves $4.28 million bid; project to start in late May or early June

Puget Sound Fire's Teddy Bear Clinic set for May 18 in Kent

Annual event provides free checkups for teddy bears and children

Overturned military vehicle causes I-5 backup near Kent, Federal Way

Wednesday, April 10 in northbound lanes near South 272nd Street

Kent Police Blotter: March 26 to April 7

Incidents include robberies, burglaries, shooting

State Patrol seek witnesses to I-5 hit-and-run crash in Kent

Collision at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 along northbound I-5 near State Route 516

Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent turns profit for 2nd consecutive year

City-owned facility brings in about $600,000 in 2023

Kent Police recovered nearly 800 catalytic converters in a 2021 bust. File photo
New state legislation fights catalytic converter theft

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on March 26 adding new regulations… Continue reading

Firefighting Diversity & Recruitment Workshop set for May 11 in Kent

Event designed to help potential candidates get jobs

Kentwood High grad's legacy of love lives on through organ donation

Madeline Goldsmith one of 344 organ donors honored by Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia