It is fun to have fun: A morning celebrating Dr. Seuss and the joy of reading

Date: March 2, 2016

By Danielle Hogan, Director of Marketing, United Way of Central Maryland

Theodor Seuss Geisel, “Dr. Seuss” is a literary legend. Whether you’re a young child just learning to read, a grown professional or a parent, you can’t think of Dr. Seuss without recalling a memory from your favorite book and smiling.

Today, on Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, United Way of Central Maryland, along with its partners, volunteers, Baltimore City Police Officers and local schools gathered across the region to read to young students and engage in a Dr. Seuss-themed activity. Baltimore City Police Officers joined the fun at Arlington Elementary/Middle School in North Baltimore, where they read to students and left behind boxes of donated books.

I also had the opportunity to play an important role today. But I’m not talking about my day job. Today I put on a red fleece jumpsuit and blue wig and became “Thing 1” from Dr. Seuss’ popular book, The Cat in the Hat. Along with my colleagues (ahem, The Cat and “Thing 2”), we brought to life the spirit of Dr. Seuss, fueling imaginations and exemplifying the joy of reading. As the teachers read the classic tale, the three of us danced around the room, children again ourselves. Each classroom we visited, the student’s eyes lit up in excitement. There were giggles, hugs and high fives. There was pure happiness. And this is precisely the emotion we want these young, impressionable minds to associate with when they go to pick up a book. Not a tablet or smart phone. A book.

Class1

Research shows that 57 percent of third graders in Maryland cannot read at grade level. And so, it is incumbent upon us to change these odds. All hands on deck, if you will. No one can create change alone. But when we work together, and cast a wider net by recruiting family, friends and colleagues to join us and help our neighbors in need, we can and will make an impressionable difference – on children, their families and our communities as a whole. Because that is the essence of what it means to LIVE UNITED.

And as Dr. Seuss would say, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Watch the Dr. Seuss Day video

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