FORT STEWART - To someone just dropping in, it might look like a kind of little folks' "March Madness" will take over Fort Stewart's Brittin, Diamond and Kessler elementary schools March 7-10.
The Cat in the Hat will be as popular a figure as Santa Claus.

Kids will dress up like campers, stage a parade dressed as their favorite book character, or wear colorful, crazy socks and otherwise have more fun than if they were filling their tummies with Green Eggs and Ham.

Teachers will "ham it up" too, and join in the fun. Parents, Soldiers, grandparents and other volunteers will visit the schools, read to the youngsters and be a part of it all.

And it's all for a great cause: to encourage children to develop a lifelong love for reading.

March is Read Across America month, the nation's largest reading event, built around the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss, otherwise known as Theodor Seuss Geisel. The observance was launched in 1998 by the National Education Association.

In schools and other children's facilities across the nation, a variety of activities are held throughout March that honor Dr. Seuss and encourage children to read and caring adults to read to them.

Chatham, Bryan, Liberty and Long County schools also will be taking part in Read Across America activities, providing more opportunities to read to students or otherwise volunteer to help with the observances.

Hunter and the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System are partners in Read Across America events at several elementary schools. Servicemembers will be reading to students in their classrooms for a couple hours a day on various dates in March.

On Fort Stewart, The Cat in the Hat will be read to youngsters from 4-5 p.m. on Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2, during Children's Storytime at the George P. Hays Library. Volunteer readers are invited to be a part of the Storytime from 4-5 p.m. each Wednesday for the remainder of March. For more information, call 912-767-2828.

School Age Services and Child Development Centers at Stewart and Hunter have a number of reading events scheduled during March.

Stewart SAS has scheduled a Read-a-thon, community reading, a poetry contest and a Book Lovers Ball. For more information, call 912-767-5662. SAS staff at Hunter will read and act out Dr. Seuss stories for the children. For more information, call 912-315-6075.

Throughout the month at Child Development Centers on Stewart and Hunter, parents will read Dr. Seuss stories in celebration of his birthday. For more information, call 912-767-3202 at Stewart or 912-315-6115 at Hunter.

Here, at a glance are the activities scheduled at Stewart's elementary schools March 7-10:
At Brittin, the theme will be "Camp Read a Book-Let the Book Bugs Bite!" Students may dress like campers all week.
At Diamond, the theme
will be "Great Day for Up." Students may dress in Sunday best to kick off the four-day event and may choose to dress like their favorite book character for the Character Day Parade on March 10.

In honor of many memorable Dr. Seuss titles, students at Kessler may wear crazy socks, favorite hats and shirts that represent all the places they have visited or would like to go. Members of the Sponsor Soldier Unit will serve as guest readers.

Guest readers and other volunteers are welcome at each of the schools. For more information, call Brittin Elementary at 912-368-3324; Diamond Elementary School at 912-876-5797; or Kessler Elementary at 912-368-3598.

Want to Volunteer'

Here are some numbers to call if you would like to volunteer to read to children, or otherwise take part in Read Across America activities encouraging youngsters to develop a love for reading:

Brittin Elementary, 912-368-3324
Diamond Elementary School, 912-876-5797
Kessler Elementary, 912-368-3598
George P. Hays Library on Fort Stewart, 912-767-2828
Stewart School Age Services, 912-767-5662
Hunter School Age Services, 912-315-9781

For information about volunteering at a Child Development Center, call 912-767-2312 at Stewart or 912-315-5425 at Hunter.

Tips for Reading

The following is from Adventures in Reading, Family Literacy Bags from Reading Rockets, at http://www.readingrockets.org

Tips for reading fiction books with kids:

Take your time and talk about the story with your child. Ask your child questions.
Explore the pictures with your child.

Read with expression. Change your voice or how fast you read to create excitement. Ham it up!
You don't need to read every word. Keeping your child interested is the goal.

Tips for reading nonfiction books with kids:

Wonder out loud. As you are reading or afterward, talk about facts you find interesting or questions you have.

Show your child how to use the table of contents, section headings, index, glossary word list to find the answer to a specific question.

Don't be afraid to jump around, reading pages that especially interest your child. You don't have to read a nonfiction book straight through.

NEA on the Web

Parents, educators or others who want to learn more about the National Education Association's Read Across America program can go to www.nea.org/grants/886.htm. The site offers a variety of resources, tools, ideas and extensive information about the celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2.

Page last updated Thu February 24th, 2011 at 08:12