SNELLVILLE - On Thursday, Dr. Seuss would have turned 102 years old. And schools across the county gave him a birthday celebration that would make any kid jealous.
Gwinnett schools had guest readers, trivia games and green eggs and ham. The tribute to beloved children's author Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was the high point of Read Across America week.
Shiloh High School celebrated with an eight-hour reading marathon in the school's media center. It kicked off and ended with a reading of "Oh, the Places You'll Go," a Dr. Seuss book still relevant for high school students stumped on what to do after graduation.
High points of the marathon included a reading of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech by Bob Ferrell, the school's resource officer. It attracted more than 100 students to sit and listen.
Reading specialist Jaime Winfree decided to organize the event after hearing about another school having a 13-hour straight reading of "Moby Dick."
"And I thought '"Moby Dick" is really boring, but we can do something really cool,'" Winfree said.
Students, faculty and administrators all had their moments on stage as they read poems out loud. They ranged from Tupac Shakur's "And 2Morrow" to Rudyard Kipling's "If."
As they listened, students drew their reactions on large sheets of white paper. Winfree believed this made them more active listeners because they visually represented the poems.
Tim Olivar, 16, read out loud "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes.
"It's very descriptive. It's vivid. I also like the color scheme," Olivar said.
Earlier in the day, students in ESOL classes read poetry out loud in their native languages, including Cambodian, French and Romanian. Then they would translate the poems into English for the audience.
"It showed how they had troubled times, too. It makes you grateful," sophomore Matthew McCurdy said.
At Gwin Oaks Elementary School, kids competed in a Dr. Seuss trivia contest to win bookmarks, journals and plush Dr. Seuss toys. Every day, they had to fill in the blanks on different book titles, like "One Fish, Two Fish, Blank Fish, Blue Fish" and "Blank for Diffendoofer Day."
Guest readers visited Gwin Oaks throughout the day, including Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. For lunch, kids were treated to green eggs and ham, and chicken nuggets shaped like Dr. Seuss characters.
"His books, the themes in them are timeless," said media specialist Sharon Amolo. "They're so general that people can see a part of themselves in any of them."
Centerville Elementary School held a breakfast program for its students and parents. At the event, the school provided 900 free books and goody bags for student readers.
For more information on
Dr. Seuss or Read
Across America, visit http://www.nea.org/readacross/index.html.