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Event gets kids hooked on reading

March 03, 1999

Cat in the HatBy ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




BOONSBORO - "Daisy Head Maizey" greeted visitors at the door while "The Cat in the Hat" roamed the halls.

Other popular Dr. Seuss characters visited classrooms at Greenbrier Elementary School on Tuesday, marking the second annual Read Across America.

"I like Dr. Seuss and I love the kids," said Instructional Assistant Gayle Schade, who wore white face paint and a tall striped hat to portray her favorite trickster cat.

"Most of them know who I am, but they still love it," Schade said.

Held in conjunction with what would have been the 95th birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, Read Across America celebrations were held in Washington County's 25 elementary schools.

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Sponsored by the National Education Association, the event's intent is to encourage reading, especially among parents and their children.

"The event is designed to give reading a big push," said Sharon Chirgott, president of the Washington County Teachers Association. "Children who fall behind as readers never really catch up."

Although most student involvement took place in the county's elementary schools, middle and high school students were encouraged to participate by reading to younger children, Chirgott said.

"It's an event for all students," said Donna Messina, community relations specialist for the Washington County Board of Education.

At Greenbrier Elementary and in other schools across the county, youngsters clustered around teachers and guest readers to listen to their favorite stories.

In Greenbrier Elementary teacher Debbie Moser's fifth-grade classroom, students ate birthday cake and showed off their favorite books.

Ashley Brown, 11, said "Changing Times," one of many books she's read about horses, was at the top of her list.

Matthew Byers, 10, excitedly talked about the kid who shrank because a scientist put a spell on him in "Weird Zone."

Even though they sometimes give him nightmares, 10-year-old history buff Bradley Logsdon said he likes to read books about the Holocaust.

Best friends Amanda Boyer and Sarah Kornides, both 10, said they like to read so much they'll participate in "The Battle of the Books" at the Washington County Public Library.

"It's just so much fun to read," said Deanna Purdy, 11.

The kids had fun playing dress-up, too.

With a towering hat and red and white striped socks to match, April Hoffman, 9, portrayed her favorite Dr. Seuss character, "The Cat in the Hat."

Garbed as "Daisy Head Maizey," Valerie Crabill, 10, sported a headband topped with a paper daisy.

"It seemed to be the simplest character to dress up as, and the silliest, too," she said.

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