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Cats in hats, other tall tales at Catonsville Y reading week

The Y in Central Maryland celebrated Read Across America with a week-long celebration of popular children's author Dr. Seuss.

Parents and volunteers visited the Y's 46 Head Start and pre-school sites across central Maryland, including the Emily Harris Head Start program in Catonsville, to celebrate literacy and read to children.

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"Books are a fun way to bring reading alive," said Debra Barrett, the Y's regional director for Baltimore County Head Start and Early Head Start. "Literacy is the foundation for everything else they are going to do in their learning."

Activities were based on Seuss' books. Monday was crazy socks day, based on "Fox in Socks." On Tuesday, to celebrate "Green Eggs and Ham," the Y held a breakfast with dads and then the parents joined their children in literacy activities. The events end today.

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Hillcrest Elementary Principal Doug Elmendorf was taking part in the National Young Readers Week Principal Challenge for a chance to win 101 free copies of the latest book in Jeff Kinney's Diary of Wimpy Kid series, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School."

The Catonsville center has 78 families, Barrett said. Head Start is for children ages 3 to 5.

In its 20th year, Read Across America is an annual project coordinated by the National Education Association. Read Across America Day is held in conjunction with Seuss's birthday, which was March 2.

"The children love him," Barrett said about the author, noting his colorful books with simple words are fun ways to incorporate language and literacy. "It draws them to reading."

Last year, Read Across America events were held in all 50 states and in 11 locations abroad, according to the NEA.

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