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Area students celebrate Dr. Seuss with ‘Read Across America’ activities

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | March 9, 2016


Dougherty County scholars in grades Pre-K through 5th, recently, joined students across the nation in Read Across America activities, which are scheduled annually to commemorate and celebrate the birthday of author, illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

Born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Geisel published his first children's book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, under the name of Dr. Seuss in 1937, according to contents from the bio posted on the website: http://www.biography.com/people/dr-seuss-9479638#synopsis.

Throughout his career, cartoonist and writer Dr. Seuss published over 60 books. His children's books, like “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” were some of his most famous works, the website further indicated.

Active-duty and civilian volunteers from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Naval Branch Health Clinic-Albany, located aboard MCLB Albany, visited a number of Dougherty County Schools reading to scores of students, who filled classrooms and libraries to participate in the Read Across America event.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryce Barfield, medical records corpsman, and Valerie Hargrove, lead medical records technician, NBHC-Albany, commented on their roles as volunteers at Alice Coachman Elementary School, Albany, Georgia, for the day’s activities.

“I volunteer because (children) really look up to people in uniform,” Barfield said. “Whenever you see a kid and you’re in uniform, their faces just light up; they get really excited. Seeing their reaction is why I love doing it. I remember how excited I was as a kid, and I just enjoy paying it forward.”

Hargrove, along with several others at NBHC-Albany, frequently volunteer at the clinic’s adopted school, Alice Coachman Elementary School and, according to her, the event just provided another opportunity for their team to participate.

“The Read Across America event is celebrating Dr. Seuss,” she said. “There is always a variety of books; you can either take your book and read to the children or you can go the their library and select a book to read to them.

“I choose to (volunteer) because I love the children and it’s educational,” Hargrove continued. “I love to see their faces light up and they enjoy it when you read to them. Some (are able) to grasp  more when you sit, read and show them pictures. We don’t have a particular grade; we just go from classroom to classroom and have fun with (the students).”

Candice Price, media specialist, Alice Coachman Elementary School, gave an overview of the event, which took place there.

“Today, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Read Across America,” Price said. “We invited several people from the community, as well as parents and grandparents to come into our school and read to the students.

“About 535 students experienced the joy of reading from (volunteers) in the community coming out into the classrooms and actually reading to them,” she continued. “The significance of the day is to support Dr. Seuss and all that he has done for literature, but it’s also to encourage children to want to read, to promote and to motivate them to read.

“We had a really great time here today, and we want to thank everyone for coming out and reading to our students at Alice Coachman,” Price concluded.

According to Price, members from Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany), Dougherty County Fire Department, the Police Department as well as members from Albany Bank and Trust participated in activities at Alice Coachman.

Several of the installation’s Marines working with the Mentors in Action Program, Sailors and civilians from the NBHC-Albany and MCLB Albany’s executive officer and executive director participated in the Dr. Seuss’ Read Across America celebration.

A few of the local students, who the volunteer teams read to, were at International Studies Elementary Charter School, Radium Springs Elementary School, Alice Coachman Elementary School, all in Albany, as well as to Pre-K students at MCLB Albany’s Child Development Center.