One book, two book, red book, blue book

Cat in the Hat

Tiffany Ortega, Kelli Kampfer, Kristin Meehan and Josiah Banks pose as Thing 1,2,3 and the Cat in the Hat. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Ortega.

On March 2, members of the Youngstown Student Education Association read Dr. Seuss books to children in Beeghly Hall’s McKay Auditorium.

YSEA, whose membership consists of future teachers, organizes events such as Read Across America to give education students hands-on experience in their field.

Crystal Hawthorne, one of the advisers for YSEA, said the event is fun for all.

“I’m not sure who was more excited — the parents, the volunteers or the kids,” she said. “It was awesome to see our students in action doing what they love best: working with children.”

Fifty volunteers were involved in the event, and all received a certificate for participation.

“This year, we decided to try to get participants from the campus community — faculty, staff and students. This would produce a diverse mix of students,” Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne said the event provides a great learning experience for the university and for the community.

“Our students gain valuable experience working with children and their parents. The campus community gets to see our students in action working with children, and it gives them a chance to be creative in the spirit of Dr. Seuss,” she said.

The event was created in 1998 by the National Education Association to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The main purpose of Read Across America is to promote literacy for children.

Activities for the children consisted of face painting, goo making, crafts and readings. Each activity station featured a theme from one of Dr. Seuss’ books.

Along with lunch and a goodie bag, the children were entered into a drawing to win books and circus tickets.

YSEA has been preparing for this event since the fall semester. Christina Rigney, an early childhood education major and the president of YSEA, said the event takes a lot of time to plan.

“Many steps have been taken, such as planning when and where the event will take place, how many children to invite, contacting businesses in [an] attempt to get donations for the event, ordering food supplies and T-shirts, planning the activities, getting volunteers and children to attend, and much more,” Rigney said.

Rigney said she was happy with the event’s turnout.

“We hoped for the best possible outcome, which would be for all the children to attend, have a great time and learn to love to read,” she said.

Jessica Stacy, an early education major, said she enjoyed volunteering for the event.

“I was reassured that kids need to be encouraged to read, and that it is important in their lives,” she said.