Wildcats visit elementary schools for National Read Across America Day

By ELLA FITZPATRCK and CYRUS ENGELSMAN 

National Read Across America was established in 1998 to encourage children and adults to find enjoyment in reading. March 2 has continued to be National Read Across America day, where groups such as local police, city council officials and high school students go to elementary schools to read to children.

Celebrated on the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel, American author of children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, National Read Across America day is distinguished by the tradition of reading his stories such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Horton Hears a Who,” and “The Lorax.” 

This year, Redlands East Valley High School students went to Crafton Elementary, Judson and Brown Elementary, Mariposa Elementary and Mentone Elementary.  Each school gave the high school students two hours to read to as many classes as possible.  

Shannon Cockerill, Alicia Gullon, Ella Fitzpatrick and Katelyn Kennedy read the children’s book “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt to a group of second-grade students on Wednesday, March 2 at Mariposa Elementary School in Redlands, CA for Read Across America. (Credit to Anthony Gomez)

“Interacting with kids brings a whole new wonder of joy,” says Shannon Cockerill, a senior at REV. “When working with them, they have so much energy and joy.”

At Mariposa Elementary School, the 22 participants from REV were given booths–which were set up on the field–to coordinate. At the five booths, classes of about 20 elementary school students would rotate to as many booths as they wanted and each booth offered a different reading and activity. 

Gavin Oliver, Shireen Takkouch, Carston Marich, Isabella Martinez-Spencer and Soraya Gisele Sefiane Coady read a book by Dr. Seuss to a class of elementary school students at Mariposa Elementary School on Wednesday, March 2 in Redlands, CA for Read Across America. (ELLA FITZPATRICK / Ethic News photo)

“It was a lot of fun! I helped read ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ and helped set up relay activities for the kids,” said Alicia Gullon, a senior at REV.

Seniors Piper Hanson, Ella Fitzpatrick, Lily Cooper, Alicia Gullon, Shannon Cockerill, Emiline Morrison, Tejazvi Gopalan, Katelyn Kennedy, Denver Neff, Isha Saife, Shireen Takkouch, Riley Bouer, Nicholas Sadowski, Gavin Oliver, Carston Marich, Isabella Martinez-Spencer, Soraya Gisele Sefiane Coady, Rishi Patel, Nicholas Perna, Corey Ford, Patrick McIntyre and Sammy Zackowski pose for a photo in front of a mural on Wednesday, March 2 at Mariposa Elementary School located in Redlands, CA. They participate in Read Across America which involves reading books and playing games with the elementary students. (Courtesy of Juliann Ford)

At Judson and Brown Elementary, 13 students were given books to read to children, and hats to wear. Students were told to read their books from one class to another, rotating between classrooms and reading to all grade levels.  

Similar to the group who visited Judson and Brown Elementary, the group of REV students who went to Mentone Elementary school were also instructed to go to every classroom and read a book or two to the students. 

“It was really cool,” says Arnie James Corpus, a senior at REV who visited Mentone Elementary School. “All of the kids wanted to hear the stories and were full of questions. It was very heartwarming to have been able to read to them.”

Editor’s note: The Mariposa Elementary School group photo credit was mistakenly given to Ella Fitzpatrick in the original post. It has since been corrected to Juliann Ford on March 8 at 2:57 p.m.

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