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

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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...


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