Sunday, March 18, 2012

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild…”

I decided my school would celebrate NEA’s Read Across America in style this year.  I figured out a list of community guest readers who would matter to my students.  I wanted them to see that no matter who you are, reading is important.  I was also hoping they might be inspired by the readers who came. 
It was a lot of work, but I’m very proud of my final list of guests.  We had SIUE basketball players, Symphony Orchestra members, an actor from The Black Rep, local authors, firefighters, police officers, the superintendent of the school district, and many others.  The students signed wearable ‘Cat in the Hat’ hats for their visiting guests.  Each guest received a certificate of appreciation (made available on NEA’s website) and a Dr. Seuss bookmark, too. 
Students created banners welcoming the guests to our school, thanking them for coming to read, and of course, one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes (I even own a t-shirt with this): “The more that you read, the more things you will know.”  I created a flipchart on ActivInspire with the wording for the banners and projected it onto the Promethean Board and then put up butcher paper to cover the board.  Students took crayons and traced, then colored in the words.  It looked really good and they LOVED being able to work with the board in that manner.
            Anyway, I was only able to witness the end of the last visit because I had classes to teach that day.  I heard from both the students and teachers that they all really enjoyed the event; several of the guests even emailed me to let me know they had a wonderful visit. 
The BEST result of them all... I have had a hard time keeping Dr. Seuss books on the shelves in the library!

Seuss, D. (1978). I can read with my eyes shut. New York, NY: Beginner Books.
Hazelwood School District's Website

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