Schools celebrate reading and eat green eggs on Dr. Seuss' birthday

SNELLVILLE - Each day, Roxann Hennings prepares breakfast and lunch to nourish the bodies of Centerville Elementary School students.

But after serving up a breakfast Friday of green eggs and ham, the cafeteria manager helped feed the minds of more than 800 students by giving away Scholastic books in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday.

"We start the day with breakfast and their life with reading," said Hennings, who wore a red-and-white striped stovepipe hat like the one in Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat."

The breakfast and book giveaway took place on the 10th annual Read Across America Day, a national reading celebration that takes place in conjunction with children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday.

When Hennings wasn't working at the school, she worked at a Scholastic warehouse, where she earned money and a discount to purchase the books, Centerville Principal Barbara Schmich said.

Centerville students got their pick of everything from coloring books to biographies, Hennings said.

Fifth-grader Raekwon Shelton said he was glad to see a larger selection of books this year. The science fiction fan said he selected Emily Rodda's "Dragons of Deltora."

"I think it's good that the school is supporting reading and handing out books," the 10-year-old said. "Someone who has no idea about anything might pick up a book and learn something."

Courtney Serra, 11, said she loves to read but didn't see any books that grabbed her attention. She selected a book about dinosaurs for her 4-year-old cousin. She said her favorite books include the Harry Potter and Eragon series.

"I think it's a good idea," Courtney said of the book giveaway. "Some kids don't have many books to read at home."

The fifth-grader said she attended the breakfast, which was "really good." The green scrambled eggs were "really different," she said.

Schools throughout Gwinnett County celebrated Read Across America Day, school district spokeswoman Sloan Roach said.

Chattahoochee Elementary on Friday also served a green eggs and ham breakfast. At Lilburn Elementary, the Cat in the Hat delivered bookmarks to kindergartners and first-graders.

Parkview High students read to Camp Creek Elementary students, while Central Gwinnett students read to students at Lawrenceville Elementary. Britt Elementary students took a field trip to South Gwinnett for story time.

Gwinnett Board of Education Chairwoman Louise Radloff dressed up as Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series Friday and read to students at Rockbridge, Kanoheda and Bethesda elementary schools. The dress she wore - black with a colorful dinosaur pattern - was made for her about five years ago by Hopkins Elementary's Parent-Teacher Association.

Radloff, who has participated in Read Across America for at least five years, said she reads an average of three books to each class. She said she talks to students about the books she reads and asks them if they are going to high school or college.

"We talk about how important it is to read if they are going to be successful in life," she said.