Schools celebrate Read Across America Day
Schools celebrate Read Across America Day
Posted on 03/04/2015
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WEST HAVEN, March 3, 2015 — The importance of literacy is consistently emphasized across all subjects in West Haven Public Schools, but classes took time on Monday to simply celebrate reading in honor of Read Across America Day.

The annual event is recognized at schools nationwide on the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss, the author who penned children’s classics like “Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,” and other books that have been helping youngsters learn to read for decades.

Principals, teachers and staff members across the district could be spotted in the Cat in the Hat’s signature red-and-white-striped topper, while some even donned the character’s full costume.

Teachers conducted special reading and writing projects with students throughout the day and also decorated classroom doors with photos or decorations depicting books that helped them become avid readers. The project intended to show how reading can “open doors” to a whole new world.

Some classroom doors were covered in “Curious George” book covers, while others used the idea of the Redbox DVD rental machine to create a “Readbox” display of books. Photos of well-known favorites like “The DaVinci Code” and “Goodnight Moon” covered other school walls alongside more obscure titles.

No matter what books were on display or what activities were planned for the occasion, West Haven educators had one shared goal: to inspire their students to become dedicated readers.

“Teachers are successful readers and can lead by example. Teachers at every grade level and in every discipline had the opportunity to show their students how they became readers by sharing their personal reading histories,” said Colette Bennett, the district’s Reading and Social Studies Coordinator and West Haven’s Read Across America Day organizer. “Since reading ‘opens doors,’ teachers shared their reading histories on their classroom doors.”

Each school planned its own ways to mark Read Across America Day this week. Some students were encouraged to bring their favorite Dr. Seuss book to school, while others dressed as their favorite Seuss character or in red and white clothing.

At Washington Elementary School, the first grade hosted a school-wide morning meeting in the gym, featuring presentations from students on their favorite books, a special song, and a reading of popular Dr. Seuss quotes. Additionally, older Washington students paired with younger pupils throughout the day for “buddy reading.”

At Alma E. Pagels Elementary School, Principal Gary Palermo dressed as the Cat in the Hat and read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” to the entire school after students participated in a small parade inside the building to show off their Seuss character costumes.

“Today is not just about Dr. Seuss. It’s Read Across America Day. It really shows the importance of reading, and I know all of you Pagels students are good readers,” Palermo told the crowd of excited youngsters.

Bailey Middle School students read Seuss books, such as “Yertle the Turtle,” that had connections with history class lessons, while teachers created a display about books that were special to them as young readers. Meanwhile, at the high school level, seniors wrote letters to freshmen with lists of recommended books to help them to succeed in school.

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114;

Read Across America

Click here and here to learn more about West Haven's Read Across America Day celebrations from district Reading and Social Studies Coordinator Colette Bennett.