ROXBURY, NJ - Every year, Roxbury public schools celebrate the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) as "Read Across America Day." This year, Jefferson School dedicated an entire week to the beloved Dr. Seuss by incorporating a plethora of activities to foster a love and appreciation for recreational reading.
Katey McAuliffe, media specialist, and Joanne Saul, reading specialist, worked closely with Sandra McBeth, a parent, and the Read Across America committee to plan and implement a week of wacky fun.
“Reading is the foundation of learning," said Saul. "Our goal is to promote positive reading experiences that lead children to a love of lifelong reading enjoyment. The school kicked off the week on Monday with Crazy ‘Fox in Socks’ Day. On Tuesday, the students were encouraged to dress up like Dr. Seuss characters."
Saul said the school welcomed author Tara Lazar who discussed the life of an author and read one of her acclaimed fractured-fairy-tales, Little Red Gliding Hood.
A number of lucky students were invited to have lunch with Lazar as a reward for their participation in a school-wide contest where they had to design a book cover and create a title for their own fractured-fairytale, said Jefferson School Principal Melissa Cosgrove.
Fourth grader Isabella McHugh said she had fun. “I enjoyed meeting Tara Lazar," McHugh said. "She is fun and not serious like some other adults. I am writing a book at home too about magic.”
The reading continued mid-week with a visit from Eisenhower Middle School students. Children from Kim Farina’s seventh grade came to read to first-graders some children’s storybooks they created in Erica Iuvone’s classroom.
Students wore "crazy hats" on Wednesday and cozied-up with a good book on Thursday while wearing pajamas to school.
“Pajama Day was so fun,” said Jack VanWert, a kindergartener. “It was like reading before bed, but we were in school.”
On Friday, students and staff participated in a “Reading Train” throughout the building. Students came out into the hall to participate in school-side sustained reading.
There were a number of activities taking place all week in the media center as well.
McAuliffe recently facilitated "makerspace" activities for students and incorporated the creation of “truffula trees” and a STEAM task called “If I Ran the Zoo” where students designed and created cages with designated items.
The big finale was a culmination of activities at Family Read Across America Fun Friday Night. Swimming coach Jen Bauman was the honored guest reader and families enjoyed beach-themed books and activities connected to the theme “Reading at the Beach.”
Jefferson School Parent Teacher Association members presented awards for the most logged hours for reading in February through a Six Flags Reading Contest. Jefferson students read for more than 710 hours.
Students that kept logs will receive a free ticket to Six Flags Great Adventure.