MIAMI — To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Miami Public Schools had a “wild and wacky week” March 2 through 6 with special themes each day, fun and exciting book-related activities, and special guest readers. In addition, students and faculty dressed up to tie in with a different book each day.

Monday featured the “Hop On Pop” book and it was dress like a Seuss character day. Tuesday featured “The Sleep Book” and the dress was PJ’s. On Wednesday everyone dressed in his or her best “wacky” wear and the book featured was “Wacky Wednesday.” Thursday’s book was “Fox in Socks” and wearing crazy socks was the order of the day, and on Friday everyone wore red, white, and black for “The Cat in the Hat.”

The special guest readers included Miami Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Hogan, Keni Iverson, Julie Smith, Miami Mayor Rudy Schultz, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Laue, State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, State Rep. Ben Loring, Chad Davis, Megan Frazier, Sarah Shockley, Susan Robinson and Donna Hawkins.

Courtney Yunt, the principal at Wilson Elementary (who was dressed like Cat In the Hat), said, “Wilson Elementary kicked off the Read Across America festivities last Thursday with lots of activities for students and their parents, and had special events every day this week, all to encourage students to read.”

Also known as Dr. Seuss Day, Read Across America Day was inaugurated by the National Education Association (NEA) and is held on the school day nearest to March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American artist, book publisher, animator, poet, and political cartoonist as well as an author best known for authoring over 60 books for children.

The NEA launched the popular literacy program in 1998 to emphasize the joy, fun, and adventure of reading. During the week, hospitals, bookstores, community centers, churches, libraries, and schools host many events, and the NEA provides various resource materials. An estimated 45 million educators, parents, and students nationwide participated this week.

The NEA has taken steps to reflect the more diverse student population, as the nation’s demographics have shifted. For this school year, the NEA rebranded the Read Across America program with a new visual look and feel, including a new brand identity and a redesigned website.

It is a year-round program that promotes reading fun and discovery with its digital activity and resource website and a print version of the web content. The rebranded mission of the popular reading program is to “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers” all year long by focusing on diverse books, authors, and readers.

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