NIPOMO, Calif. - Dorothea Lange Elementary School is all set to celebrate Read Across America tomorrow on Thursday, March 9.
While the national event is held on March 2, the Nipomo school decided to push back the special day a week later due to many of its sixth graders attending science camp at Rancho El Chorro and fourth graders away at camp in Coloma.
According to the National Education Website, Read Across America is the nation's largest reading celebration, which specifically focuses attention on the importance and joys of reading.
Created in 1998, it's held each year on March 2, which is the birthday of famed children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuess.
"Reading is really important,,” said Dorothea Lange Elementary library technician Candace Brown. “Making reading exciting is really important in piquing their interest and Read Across America is a great event that does that by celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday."
Helping to kickoff the event at Dorothea Lange was KCOY's Dave Alley. The longtime reporter/anchor, who also serves as the station's director of community affairs, read three all-time children's favorites in Ms. Madrid's first grade class.
For nearly an hour, Alley spoke to the kids about education, books and imagination, while also reading “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Cat in the Hat and Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!”
On Thursday, Dorothea Lange will welcome many more guest readers from around the community to the campus. Children in all grades will listen to readers, such as Lucia Mar Unified School District superintendent Dr. Raynee Daley and former Dorothea Lange principal Deborah Schimandle.
"The kids really enjoy having a number of different guest readers come into their classroom,” said Brown. “Seeing that there are people coming to read to them from all different walks of life is important I think to demonstrate to kids that reading is important to many different kinds of people, many different kinds of backgrounds, different jobs."
Brown adds the school emphasizes the importance of reading throughout the entire academic year and not just one day in March.
"The more that their interested in the books that they're reading, the more likely that they are going to be to read. The more they read, the better readers they become and reading really gives us the opportunity to learn things that we otherwise wouldn't be able to learn and travel to places that we wouldn't normally be able to travel,” Brown said.