From moving mountains to trying something new and different like “Green Eggs and Ham,” several generations have grown up reading stories from beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. Read Across America is a week schools across the U.S. take to celebrate the late Dr. Seuss by reading some of his books. Students at Fort Campbell’s Lincoln Elementary School took the time to celebrate by having people from the Fort Campbell community read to them.
Care givers from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, firefighters, Fort Campbell Schools Superintendent and Fort Campbell Garrison Commander Col. David “Buck” Dellinger were among the leaders to come and make a visit.
“Hanging out with the children, it definitely helps you understand why it’s so important to take care of parents. You look around the room and some of them have parents who are deployed and it’s just a big thrill for us to be in the class,” said Dellinger after reading to a group of third graders gathered in Shauna Graves’ class. “If you’re ever having a bad day, just spend some time with children. They will brighten up your day.”
Staff at the elementary school were surprised that some of these post officials, who are among the busiest on the installation, were able and willing to take time from their day to come and read to the children.
“We appreciate it so much,” said Graves, who has taught at the school for 15 years. “I think it’s just fantastic. Before Col. Dellinger came, they had no idea who he was. The superintendent came and we saw him read to another class. The hospital had doctors and nurses. It’s just awesome they can just take away from their busy schedules.”
“It took a lot to schedule this for the children. We had to go around factors like, teacher planning, enrichment times, music, art and lunch,” said Patty Downey, media specialist at Lincoln Elementary School. “It’s just as exciting for [the leadership and workers across Fort Campbell] as it is for each one of the students. Each of them have came and told me how much they have enjoyed it; it’s almost like a relaxation time for them. It’s something they can share and it was out of their norm.”
Dellinger read “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Jon Scieszka, which the kids enjoyed.
“If I get stuck on a word, who will help me,” asked Dellinger before he started reading. All the students quickly raised their hands.
“It was pretty cool. He asked us questions and I liked answering them,” said 9-year-old Bryanna Recinos. “He was pretty nice to us.”
“Do you think you’ll move mountains?” was one of the questions Dellinger asked the students. At first they gave a literal answer of “No” because after all mountains are too big to move, but once they understand it was about goals, they started giving different answers.
“I want to get 350 reading counts points,” “I’m saving up for a horse,” “I want to be a guitar player,” and “I want to do gymnastics in the Olympics” were among the answers the students gave.
Reading is a large part of the curriculum at this school and is one of the ways students are moving mountains. Every month the students read and keep a log of how long they have read. As they meet goals which is set by the school, they celebrate by planning special events every month for the children.
They also plan a huge celebration at the end of the year, when students reach their goal. For the top readers, they receive rewards like a free book, from the school’s book fair. The current reading counts goal is 25,000 reading counts points, and the school together has already reached about 20,000 points.