by Natalie Fall
UWSL Events Intern
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”― Dr. Seuss
Last week was National Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss was the author of choice! To celebrate, United Way of Salt Lake staff teamed up with volunteers to read Dr. Seuss favorites to students at two of UWSL’s Community Learning Centers.
I had the opportunity to participate at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in South Salt Lake. We visited first, second, and third grade classrooms to share several Dr. Seuss classics. We were greeted by an eager and energized bunch, ready to put us to work! As we read in small groups, the children were captivated by Seuss’ rhymes and the unique illustrations accompanying them. Many students got excited when they spotted a book they’d read before, and several students even requested to read pages aloud for the group! In one first grade class, I was paired with three little girls. Though initially timid, they were loudly reading every word along with me by the middle of the second book. I was as impressed as I was charmed.
The city of South Salt Lake is rich with diversity, with 32% of its 30,000 residents speaking non-English first languages. South Salt Lake’s young students are at high-risk of reading below grade level. Getting students excited about and engaged in activities that improve literacy is an important part of United Way of Salt Lake’s Promise Partnership with the South Salt Lake. Dr. Seuss’ reading day was a fun way to accomplish that!
Students and teachers alike were gracious and receptive. Third grade teacher, Robin Farnsworth, told Community Learning Center Coordinator, Lindsey Edwards:
“Thanks for taking the time to come and read to our class. The students had a great time and commented after you left about how fun it was. One student said ‘ It reminded her of reading those books with her family.’ I have been working hard to show my students how communities working together make them a better place. I love that they were able to see this first hand. You are welcome to come and read to my class anytime.”
One student put it perfectly:
“I LOVE DR. SEUSS!”
A big thank you to all who participated in this special day.