By MIKI MEEK
As Governor Mike Leavitt signed a proclamation declaring Tuesday as Read Across America Day in Utah, a Lindon Elementary Principal traveled around his school promoting the day with a skateboard on his feet and a book in his hand.
Principle Rod Tucker helped celebrate the day by going to each class and sharing a story. For the occasion, he traded in his usual shirt and tie for an orange life preserver, blue mesh shorts and snow boots. Tucker says the weird outfit tied in with his story’s theme and showed that reading can be fun.
“I think if students learn to love reading they will also be able to enjoy school,” he said.
Read Across America began in connection with the March 2 birthday of the late author Theordor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
“It’s absolutely crucial that youngsters be given a foundation in reading if they’re going to make progress in education … That means a real strong commitment from parents.”
— Bob Chase, National Education Association President
“Dr. Seuss is the pioneer of children’s books. He created books that children could actually read and enjoy,” said first-grade teacher Janis Clouse, while 23 of her students sat bunched together on the carpet listening attentively to Tucker.
Clouse said a celebration of reading takes place at Lindon Elementary every day. The school constantly encourages its students to read because it helps them develop proper writing and speaking skills, she said.
“You can do anything if you read,” Clouse said.
Venice Michael is a teacher who specializes in helping students individually with their reading skills at Lindon Elementary. She said children should spend 15 to 20 minutes each day reading. Micheal also said parents need to take an active role in their children’s reading.
National Education Association President Bob Chase agrees.
“It’s absolutely crucial that youngsters be given a foundation in reading if they’re going to make progress in education … That means a real strong commitment from parents,” he said.