MILLTOWN, NJ – The Cat was in the house at the Parkview Elementary School today to kick off a week-long celebration of reading that culminates on March 2 for Dr. Seuss’ birthday. As kindergarten teacher Krystal McConnell read the Dr. Seuss classic, “The Cat In The Hat,” the Cat popped into the school’s gym to the delight of the pre-kindergarten through third grade students.
The students sat and listened as McConnell read the beloved children’s book as the Cat in the Hat listened to his signature story. Even Thing One and Thing Two stopped by to make a little mischief before being sent on their way by the Cat. The Cat stayed for a bit making his way through the students to say hello before the children all sang “Dr. Seuss We Love You.”
The Cat stood by as all the students took the National Education Association’s Reader’s Oath, led by pre-kindergarten teacher Mary Sansone. Sansone also served as emcee for the upbeat event. The Reader’s Oath was written by Debra Angstead.
“I promise to read each day and each night,” the students repeated after Sansone. "I know it's the key to growing up right."
The Cat in the Hat’s visit came courtesy of McConnell who submitted her name online at last fall’s National Teacher’s Convention in Atlantic City. McConnell’s name was chosen and the visit was arranged along with some very cute red and white hats for her young students. This was not the first time the Cat in the Hat stopped by the Parkview School. Sansone’s name was picked last year.
Before heading out into the rainy day, the Cat made sure to give a high five to each student on his or her way out of the gym.
The Cat’s visit got Parkview students and teachers all pumped for an upcoming week of fun activities. Monday will start off the week with Crazy Sock Day, which will be followed on Tuesday by Crazy Hair Day. Everything gets turned upside down Cat in the Hat style on Wednesday when the school showcases their wacky wear. On Thursday, students and teachers will don their pajamas for PJ Day. Students are also invited to bring in a favorite book. Everyone will drop everything and read in their comfy jammies, joining one another in the hallway for a huge read-in. Finally, guest readers will visit the school on March 2 to read some of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s books.
The National Education Association christened Read Across America Day on March 2, 1988, Dr. Seuss' birthday. Their goal was to throw the biggest party to honor the joys of reading and center it around one of the most recognizable children's book authors of all time.
Dr. Seuss is the pen name for Theodor Seuss Geisel. Seuss published his first children’s book in 1937. “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street” was rejected by book publishers 27 times before Vanguard Press decided to put it in print. After that, Seuss published more than 60 kids books including the “Cat In The Hat.”
Seuss penned “The Cat In The Hat” at the request of Houghton Mifflin and Random House after a “Life” magazine article came out calling attention to children’s declining reading levels. Seuss was asked to write a child’s reading primer with 220 often-used vocabulary words. The result was “The Cat In The Hat,” which has certainly stood the test of time. It was first published in 1957.