Wednesday was the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pseudonym, Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss has published over 45 children’s books, characterized by imaginative characters and rhymes.
Locally, the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County celebrated Geisel’s birth and labor as part of the National Education Association’s National Reading Day activities across America. Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that invites every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2 each year, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.
According to Scott Bullington, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County, the local club contacted several schools with the help of Speedway Children’s Charities. The Glenwood Education Center, Highland Elementary and Doak Elementary were visited on Wednesday by the Boys & Girls Club and their volunteer readers. The volunteers also visited Towering Oaks Christian School, McDonald Elementary School and Mosheim Elementary School on Friday.
Boys & Girls Club staff and volunteers dressed up as characters from some of Dr. Seuss’s best-known stories, including The Cat in the Hat, the Lorax and Thing 1 and Thing 2.
People who dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters and those who volunteered as readers during the week included Adam Hamer, Katie Robinette, Dante Darnell, Tiffany Judd, Jessica Poore, Eli Lawson, Maria Torres, Terri Cansler, Barry Jarrell and Trish Jarrell.
“They were a hit with all the kids,” Bullington said.
On Wednesday, the Boys & Girls Club also hosted a Read Across America party at the local Boys & Girls Club.
Members of the Torch Club dressed up to greet the children as they entered the building and helped the 5-7 year old age group with a special craft. Members of the Boys & Girls Club Torch Club are Alex Story, President, Kaylee Hypes, Anaya Cohen, Evie Lane, Jeremiah Alexander, Maddy Lane, Ariel Foster and Kalyssa Shipley with board members Laura Pendelton and Carla Bewley assisting the members of the Torch Club.
During the day, Boys & Girls Club staff and volunteers read to many children in the city and county school systems, according to Bullington. The Boys & Girls Club handed out pencils, erasers, stickers, bookmarks and other Dr. Seuss items at their stops to remind children of the importance of reading.
Tiffany Judd, Program Director of the Boys & Girls Club, thanked all of the local schools for allowing the Boys & Girls Club to share the spirit of Dr. Seuss and for allowing them to read to so many classes.
The education enhancement program was provided through a grant from the Bristol, Tennessee, chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities to the local Boys & Girls Club for outreach activities, according to Bullington. Speedway Children’s Charities is a foundation dedicated to helping children and has long supported the local Boys & Girls Club and the Read Across America outreach program.
“We really appreciate schools that give us the opportunity to reach their students with this program,” Bullington said. “Tiffany Judd does a great job in setting up our school outreach programs, and we have a wonderful staff to support these activities.”
“Many of the programs we offer can be made possible through the financial support of our donors, whether in the form of grants or personal donations. They help us continue to serve the children in our community with fun, high quality programs,” said Jessica Poore, Boys and Girls Club Resource Development Manager.
The Boys & Girls Club serves youth each year through its after-school and summer programs, school outreach projects, and youth sporting events.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Club, stop by the Club at 740 W. Church St., call Jessica Poore at 423-787-9322 or Tiffany Judd at 423-787-9334, visit the club’s Facebook page or the club’s website at www.ggcbgc.org.