Dr Seuss and Read Across America Day

By: Christine Olding

Dr. Seuss is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. A man we are all familiar with and who personally changed my life as a small child. I could sit here and talk to you about who he was and the books he wrote, however, I am going to show you how Dr. Seuss directly affects my service.

Most of you have heard the quote, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” A quote that I use daily in my service. A few weeks ago, I was alerted that one of my 4th grade students was being bullied due to his size and intellect. I decided that it was duty to help him through this time. He’s never been the type of kid to use violence to solve his problems and I could tell he was having a hard time coping with this new onset of bullying. I wanted to make sure he realized and took pride in how amazing he truly is. So, I decided to show him this quote. After showing him we talked about what the quote meant and differing ways he could “protect” himself from negative situations that he would find himself in. We talked about his friends, family, what he wanted to be when he grew up and an acronym S.A.S.S (stay calm; assess the situation, solution orientated and self-confidence). Together we talked through the good and the bad and solutions to a multitude of problems.  I continue to meet with this student and we continue to discuss how to better handle situations and how to find confidence in who you are.

I know that this is an unconventional way to celebrate the birth and influence of such a great writer, however, to me, it is the best way to say thank you. Thank you Dr. Seuss for helping one 4th grade student find out who he is and all the wonderful things he can do.

This Friday February 24th is Read Across America Day for City Year Columbus. A day we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Seuss.  This year, the book that is being showcased this year is The Lorax, in observance of the moving coming out this year. The theme this year is green and some suggestions to make your school community green include: making a reading garden, planting a Truffala tree forest or even just having a Lorax lead your schools reading parade.  So, grab a pick and grab a kid and help Dr. Seuss change their lives like he changed mine, yours and 4th Andrew.