MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Dr. Seuss was on the loose in Mount Vernon all week, as students, teachers and administrators celebrated the famed wordsmith’s birthday with a series of special events and readings.
More than a decade after his death, the influential children’s book author’s spirit was alive and well throughout the district as students donned his trademark red and white striped top hat and district officials read select works at the many elementary schools.
At the Graham School, more than a few students dressed as his most famous character, the Cat in the Hat, while Deputy Superintendent Jeff Gorman – in a silly hat of his own – read “Oh The Places You’ll Go” to third grade students, some of whom were dressed as some of Seuss’ other famous characters, at Pennington Elementary School.
The fun is just getting started for fans of the author as the district prepares for a community reading of “Horton Hears a Who” featuring district and elected officials. That reading will be followed by a spirited discussion about “the similarities between Horton’s dilemma and the Mount Vernon City School District.”
“After reading the story, I often wondered if the Whos were representative of the residents of Mount Vernon,” Board of Education President Elias Gootzeit said. “Many times, our needs can be overlooked or overshadowed by our bigger neighbor (New York City) in the south, to the detriment of our children and community.”
State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson will join in on the reading, voicing the Kangaroo, while Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton will be playing the titular character: Horton.
“I think this is a great opportunity to engage with the students and residents of Mount Vernon,” Hassell-Thompson said. “This timeless story presents a unique perspective about the impact a determined people can have on our world and will surely be a starting point for a robust discussion.
“People think of Dr. Seuss as a writer of only children’s stories, but they really are about the human condition.”
The community reading of “Horton Hears a Who” will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday March 14 at Grimes Elementary School.
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