By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMarch 12, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Dr. Seuss has provided countless children and families with memorable stories that many cherish throughout their lives, and the Fort Rucker Center Library honored those memories with a celebration that would put a grin on any Grinch's face.
The Center Library held its Seusstival celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday March 1, and although the celebration was meant to be outside, unfavorable weather forced the festivities indoors, but the move didn't stop the fun, according to many participants.
Families were able to take part in a myriad of activities, ranging from bowling and facepainting, to various Dr. Seuss themed activities, including crafting their own cat-in-the-hat hats, coloring or simply watching movies.
For many family members in attendance -- especially parents -- the event was nostalgic and an opportunity for them to share a memorable part of their childhood with their own children.
"Dr. Seuss stories are stories that I think everyone is familiar with," said Jana Panner, military spouse. "They just have the most ridiculously wonderful stories and it's something that I love because they're just so out of this world. I think it really resonates with both children and grownups because it's all about imagination."
Panner, who came with both of her children, Luke and Geoffrey, said the celebration was a great opportunity for her family to create lasting memories with some of her favorite stories.
"I really like that this is an event centered on literature," she said. "This is something that gets my kids excited about the stories that they're familiar with and it makes them really want to revisit them, which I think is the right way to go about (encouraging reading.)
"It's tough to get your kids reading just for fun, so anytime they can utilize their imagination, I think that opens up a door for them to find the interest in it themselves," she continued. "Whatever they find interesting to read is a plus to me, because as long as I can keep them interested in reading now, that's something that will stay with them as they get older."
Promoting healthy reading habits is something that many parents are happy to encourage, but for some parents, like Teresa Beringer, military spouse, reading is about helping to encourage a creative imagination.
"I feel like that's the whole point of Dr. Seuss stories -- looking beyond what people experience in reality and letting your imagination run wild," said Beringer. "It's about thinking outside the box and viewing the world from a different perspective, which I think is extremely important for children to do.
"Of course it's important for children to see (the world) as it is, but I also think it's important for them to be able to see how they envision it to be one day," she said. "These kids are our future engineers and artists -- who knows what they could become or what they'll discover, so we don't want to stifle their creative side. As far as we know, one of these kids could be the next Dr. Seuss."
Regardless of what lessons children were able to get from the Seusstival celebration, one resounding take away from the event was fun.
"Just being able to do something like this together and as a family is great," Beringer said. "Anytime where we can have family time is a win for me."