Dr. Seuss' birthday looks like the day to celebrate books; Or eat eggs and ham made green by cooks


From Parkville to Potomac and Mardela Springs to Sandy Spring, children will be taking part this week in a growing national celebration of reading and the birthday of the late Theodor Geisel -- better known as Dr. Seuss.

The celebration, known as Read Across America Day, was begun last year by the National Education Association, which has enlisted not only its local chapters but library and literacy organizations in the cause.

Gabrielle Lange, an NEA spokeswoman, said the idea, with the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss as the rallying point, was born in response to a call from "one frustrated teacher" looking for suggestions about motivating children to read, and "it's just exploded."

Locally, events will range from "Read Across Parkville Day" at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology, with programs in every classroom, to a party at the Port Discovery children's museum in Baltimore for elementary pupils who wrote or illustrated Seuss-like stories in a contest for seven area school districts.

Jim Fish, director of the Baltimore County Public Library system, will visit Westchester Ele- mentary School in Catonsville to read an appropriate Dr. Seuss book: "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."

First-graders at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Carroll County plan to parade in costume as characters from Seuss and other favorite books, make "goop" based on a description in Seuss' "Bartholomew and the Oobleck," and decorate eggs that will not be hatched by a Horton.

Teachers, literacy program officials and the public have posted information about their celebration plans in a state-by-state listing at the NEA's Web site.

Plans range from a reading celebration in the new library at the University of Baltimore, with nearly 100 elementary pupils, to a simple note from a person in Takoma Park stating: "I plan to send books to my nieces, ages 3 and 5."

Elementary schools in Cecil County will combine two celebrations -- Dr. Seuss' birthday and National School Breakfast Week. They will eat -- what else? -- a breakfast of green eggs and ham as they enjoy readings from the Seuss book of the same name.

They are among a number of schools in Maryland planning breakfasts inspired by "Green Eggs and Ham."

Pub Date: 2/28/99

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