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Mirror photo by Cindy Wise/Frankstown Elementary teacher Annie Dively reads “The Sneetches” to Ann Franco’s second-grade class on Wednesday.

According to Mirror staff reports

Teachers donned Dr. Seuss hats and celebrated Reading Day Across America on Wednesday by introducing Frankstown Elementary students to Dr. Seuss’s books, such as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green eggs and ham.”

Wednesday also marked the famous author’s birthday.

“I look forward to this week every year,” said teacher Annie Dively, who read “The Sneetches” to Ann Franco’s second grade class.

“It’s wonderful to be able to share my love of reading with the students,” she says.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association said schools and communities are nationwide celebrating Reading Day across America, making it the biggest reading celebration of the year.

“When we take the time to read to children, they learn to make reading part of their daily lives,” Pennsylvania State Education Association President Rich Askey said in a statement.

Dively said Frankstown makes the day fun for students with guest readers sharing their favorite books.

“We did a lot of read-alouds from Dr. Seuss and we swapped rooms with the other second-grade teachers, which was great because we can’t do that all the time,” says teacher Summer Carson.

Teachers are always working to get students interested in reading, Carson said, but it’s even more fun at Read Across America events.

By sharing their love of reading, teachers encourage students, she says.

“I think it’s fun because you ignite the joy of reading in your students,” Carson added.

According to PEAS, reading a little each day adds up over time, benefiting children as they grow.

Studies have shown that reading reduces stress and that reading just 20 minutes a day is equivalent to reading 1.8 million words a year. Children learn about 4,000 to 12,000 words each year through reading.

Reading Day across America is always special, said William Madden, principal of Frankstown Elementary, “But this year it’s a bit more special because we’ve been able to get the kids together again.”

“We celebrated with building-wide activities, themed dress-up days and on (Wednesday) members of the Frankstown Book Club served as guest readers for K-3 students,” he said.

“Our younger students were very excited to have older students come into their classrooms and read to them,” he said. “It’s always great to connect kids at all grade levels, and Reading Week Across America has helped do just that.”

Monday’s theme in Frankstown was “Reading Stimulates the Mind” and students were encouraged to wear exercise/workout clothes. Tuesday, “Reading gives you superpowers” had students dressed in a superhero shirt or as their favorite superhero.

“Surf to read” was Wednesday’s theme, with students wearing Hawaiian shirts and/or attire. Students can wear their favorite jersey or team kit today to “Team up for reading.

End the week is “Relax with a good book,” when students wear their pajamas for a PJ reading day.

The students said they enjoyed all the events and said Wednesday was fun.

“We need to dress up and do fun things for Dr. Seuss’ birthday,” said Frankstown Elementary sophomore Jake Dick, 7.

Sophie Grove, 8, also in second grade, said she loved all the stories read on Wednesday.

“It was really fun to have another teacher read to us,” said Grove. “I just loved it.”

Libraries also participate

Area libraries also held special events and activities on Wednesday.

About 40 children participated in guided reading and other book-themed activities at the Hollidaysburg area public library.

Pennie Cadwallader, Children, Teens and Library Programming Coordinator, kicked off story time by dressing up as Laura Numeroff’s Mouse “If you give a mouse a cookie” and read the book to the children. Two other books by Numeroff that featured the mouse were also read.

During story time, the children were allowed to blow bubbles, which they thoroughly enjoyed, Cadwallader said.

Kids could paint a paper plate to look like a cookie and make a hat with the mouse from the book on it, Cadwallader said. The library also distributed small packets of cookies for children to take home.

“It’s great to celebrate all things reading and to invite everyone to come to the library and share this day with us,” said Cadwallader.

Reading Day across America was created in 1998 by the National Education Association to celebrate reading and takes place every March 2.

In addition to regularly scheduled activities, the Altoona Area Public Library offers an online site “escape room.” The game can be played with or without the timer at https://www.altoonalibrary.com/dr-seuss-escape/.

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