Celebrating Seuss & Read Across America


Every year, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with guest readers reading his words in every classroom in our school.  This year, we had enough readers to send 2 guests to every class.  Many brought their own books, but we also had a big collection to choose from in the library.


We thank so many members of our Barrow and local community for coming into our school to share stories with kids.  It’s important to see people sharing the power of words at every grade level.  Days like these remind us that you are never too old to enjoy a great picture book, have fun with words, and laugh out loud with friends when you get all tongue-tied.

Some of our readers this year came from UGA’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.  This was the fraternity that Dr. Seuss was a member of at Dartmouth.


In addition to being readers, the fraternity brothers brought us some Elephant and Piggie books to add to our collection.  Each copy they donated was a Geisel Honor Book.  What a great way to honor Seuss and support literacy.  Thank you!

In addition to readers and having lots of Seuss books available to kids, I unboxed our latest book order from Bound to Stay Bound.  It was packed with graphic novels and many other fantastic books.  It didn’t take long for our ravenous readers to check out pretty much every graphic novel I ordered.  Some kids even returned a 2nd time to check out more.  Happy Read Across America!

Celebrating Read Across America, Dr. Seuss, and Our Community

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March 2nd is always a special day for our school. We have a long tradition of having guest readers for all classrooms in honor of Read Across America and the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  The goal is to have two readers for every classroom. This allows more connections to the community, more books to be heard, and also more people in case we have people who are unable to come.

Courtney Tobin is a parent volunteer at our school who organizes my library volunteers. She also creates a Signup Genius for events like this one.  She puts 2 slots for every class, and we start sending it out asking for readers. The link is put in my library newsletter, library facebook page, and grade level parent representatives send it out to lists of parents.  I invite district leadership including our superintendent, public relations, and board of education members.

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As the event nears, we always have empty spaces still left, so we repeat sending out the link and send it to additional places like the UGA Athletic Association. Usually be the day of the event, the list is full and we have people who show up who didn’t even get to sign up.

It takes a whole community to pull off 2 readers in every class.

We gather in the library, and readers check in with Kim Ness, another wonderful parent volunteer. She does this while I’m helping with morning broadcast. Readers select a Seuss book from our library collection and my personal collection and socialize and practice reading. We gather for a group picture and a huge thank you for taking time to celebrate reading with our students.

Seuss Readers Crop

It’s always fun to race around the school to try to catch a glimpse of the smiling faces in every class and the community readers having such a great time sharing stories.

For the remainder of the day, we continue our Skype connections with other schools around the country. This is a continuation of our World Read Aloud Skypes.

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Today, we connected with:

  • Shannon Hyman in Glen Allen, VA and her 3rd grade students to read Be a Friend and Mother Bruce. Their teacher was a big UGA fan!
  • Lisa Lindeman in Babylon, NY and her 5th grade students to read Snappsy the Alligator
  • Terry Freyou in Coppell, TX and her 5th grade students to read Be a Friend
  • Sarah Staudt in Mason City, IA to read Mother Bruce
  • Donna MacDonald in South Burlington, VT and her 1st grade to read Snappsy the Alligator
  • Dana Susko in Santa Barbara, CA and her Prek to read The Day the Crayons Came Home
  • Carol Scrimgeour in Essex, VT and her Kindergarten to read Snappsy the Alligator

It is always a magical day connecting on Skype because the kids share a story across the miles and make connections with another school. I love pulling up a map and talking about how technology not only lets us see and talk to people in other places, but it helps us literally connect the dots between our locations and know in real-time how long it would take us to get there. We’ve talked about tolls, traffic accidents, construction zones, megabus, and alternative routes along with our celebration of great stories.

We’ve also encountered technical difficulties.  One school had to cancel due to the internet being out in their school, but it was a life lesson that when something doesn’t work, you just carry on.  When we connected with Lisa Lindeman, we could not get Skype to connect us.  We tried multiple times but communicated in the chat. We finally decided to give Google Hangouts a try.  She had never used it, but she was willing to try.  It worked like a charm, but more importantly it showed our students and teachers in both states that we weren’t afraid to fail, back up, and try something else. Life isn’t smooth, and things don’t always work out, but we can’t just give up easily when something is frustrating or hard.

Thank you to everyone who read in our classrooms and connected with us. Happy Read Across America Week and Happy Connecting!

Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day 1

What a way to start the week for Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day.  Our morning kicked off with about 40 guest readers (2 in every classroom PreK-5th).  First, these readers gathered in the library to select books.  Many thanks to Kim Ness for checking all of the readers in and Julie Moon for setting up our Signup Genius which kept us organized.  They were full of energy and spent time connecting with one another, sharing stories, and getting pumped up to read to classrooms.

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After a group picture, our 5th grade BTV crew escorted readers to classrooms and they got started sharing Dr. Seuss books, laughing, and learning with our students.  It was so much fun to go around the school and hear Seuss words filling the air, seeing kids smiling, and hearing their laughter.

Following this, we started the first of 36 Skype sessions to celebrate Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day.  We are creating a Google Earth Tour as we connect, so I will post that at the end of the week.  For now, I’ll share some images and video from our week.  Today, we connected with:

Okle Miller 2nd grade, Tampa FL
Crystal Hendrix Asheville, NC
Wendy Garland 4th grade Massachussetts
Jennifer Reed 3rd grade Massachussetts & Peter Reynolds
Jenny Lussier 2nd grade Connecticut & Ame Dyckman
Nancy Edwards 6th grade, Seattle
Shannon Miller K/1 Iowa
Kathy Schmidt Gwinnett GA 1st


Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day 2014 is Here!

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014Wow!  I am so excited that Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day is here.  Some miraculous things have happened since planning for this week started in December.

The shared Google Doc that Shannon Miller and I created has been very busy and growing every day.

I’ve been having countless conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and email to connect our teachers and students with authors and classrooms around the world.  The global collaboration that has gone into this week is energizing, inspiring, and exhausting!  I can’t wait to see all of the planning come to life next week.  I know that there will be so many moments  that will inspire and surprise us during the week.  I’m also thinking back to last year and how the weather changed our plans!  I’m hoping for global great weather next week so that all of our connections happen.

mercy watson

Here’s a look at our week!

On Monday, we will have about 50 guest readers from the community reading Dr. Seuss books in every classroom.

These are a few of the books we will share with libraries, classrooms, and authors around the world during the rest of the week.


On Monday we will connect with:

  • Okle Miller and her students in Florida
  • Crystal Hendrix and her students in North Carolina
  • Wendy Garland and her students in Massachusetts
  • Jennifer Reed and her students in Massachusetts along with author, Peter Reynolds
  • Jenny Lussier and her students in Connecticut along with author, Ame Dyckman
  • Nancy Edwards and her students in Seattle, WA
  • Shannon Miller and her students in Iowa
  • Kathy Schmidt and her students in Gwinnett County, GA

On Tuesday, we will connect with:

  • Erika Victor and her students in Berlin, Germany!
  • Jennifer Reed and her students in Massachusetts
  • Heather Temske and her students in Roswell, GA
  • Laura D’Elia and her students in Massachusetts
  • Christy Brennan and her students in Pennsylvania
  • Shannon Miller and her students in Iowa along with author, Deborah Freedman

On Wednesday (the official World Read Aloud Day), we will connect with:

  • Donna MacDonald and her students in Vermont
  • Matthew Winner and his students in Maryland
  • Anne Marie Pace, author
  • Kate DiCamillo, Newbery-winning author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
  • Sherry Gick and her students in Indiana along with author, Barbara O’Connor
  • Shannon Miller and her students in Iowa along with author, Jenny Sue Kostecki Shaw
  • Tanya Lee Stone, author

On Thursday, we will connect with:

  • Edie Crook and her students in North Carolina
  • Okle Miller and her students in Florida
  • Cherie Smeltzer and her students in New Hampshire
  • Shawna Ford and her students in Texas
  • Jenny Lussier and her students in Connecticut
  • Wendy Garland and her students in Massachusetts
  • Shannon Miller and her students in Iowa

On Friday, we will connect with:

  • Meghan Nels and her students in Massachusetts
  • Shannon Miller (Iowa), Matthew Winner (Maryland), and Jesse Klausmier
  • Cathy Potter and her students in Maine
  • Shawn Ford (Texas) and Shannon Hyman (Virginia) and their students
  • Stacy Ford and his students in Texas
  • Randie Groden and her students in Massachusetts
  • Shannon Miller and her students in Iowa with author, Tom Angleberger

Whew!  It will truly be an amazing week!

We are going to attempt to document our week as much as possible through pictures and videos. We are also going to work on a map of our virtual travels using Google Tour Builder.  During each Skype, we will make sure to ask where are guests are specifically located.  Then, after the Skype, I will pull up our Google Tour and we’ll add pins and details to the map.  By the end of the week, I can’t wait to look at the whole tour and remember our travels.

Dr. Seuss Day 2011

We had another successful Dr. Seuss Guest Reader Day today with a record attendance of readers.  All readers read to Dr. Seuss books to students at 1:30PM and spent some time talking with students about the importance of enjoying great books.  Thank you to everyone who attended from the community and from UGA’s Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Beta Phi.

Mr. Ralph
Terry Nestor
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez
Leland Barrow and Christie Purks
Janet Geddis
Hester Meyers
Jeanie Trotochaud
Susan Rodrigue
Jenny Penney-Oliver
Nancy Denson
Rachel Watkins
Kevin O’Neil
Tad MacMillan
Shawn Hinger
Jamie Tuttle
Taylor Richardson
Joe Garrigan
Cody Schmelter
Matt Matuszewslew
Jeremy Howard
Jake Phiilpohs
Brad Glisson
Jess Milner
John Manack
Andrew Walker
Andrew Henry
Robert Holmes
Robert Knotts
Heghan Dugan
Sarah Beatty

View an Animoto of today’s event here.