Dr. Seuss Week makes reading whimsical

Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson reads “The Butter Battle Book” to Ms. Clark and Lastly's Kindergarten classes at Shady Grove Elementary on Fri., March 9. Nelson was one of many community members who volunteered to celebrate Dr. Seuss Week at Shady Grove Elementary from March 5 to March 9. “The Butter Battle Book” teaches readers that though some people are different from others, there is no reason everyone can't get along.

Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!”

Dr. Seuss' words of wisdom can be recognized from a mile away, no matter one's age or temperament. He is one of the most celebrated children's authors of all time, and BCISD Parent-Volunteer Coordinator Darlene Denton has made it a goal to spread his magic and ideals to children throughout BCISD.

Denton has gone above and beyond to teach students about Dr. Seuss and the values he continues to instill in children's minds through his colorful, whimsical stories.

In 2001, Denton took members of the BHS girls basketball team to the elementary school to read their favorite Dr. Seuss stories to the children.

For the past 6 years, Denton has designated two weeks to her Dr. Seuss guest reader program, and various members of the community – including students – volunteer to read to students from Pre-K to 5th grade.

“The most beautiful thing besides the fun stories and lessons, is the community,” Denton said. “People are getting to come into the school and read to a class of kids. It is a great partnership.”

Denton, well-studied in Dr. Seuss history, begins each session with a short lesson on Theodore Seuss Geisel, sharing facts most people don't know.

Born on March 2, 1904, Ted Geisel was the son of German immigrants who made their home in Springfield, Massachusetts. During his childhood, he lived between his two favorite places: the zoo and the library. He spent his time drawing and creating, reaching parts of the imagination that people didn't know existed. Regardless of his unique talent, his superiors refused to see his potential.

“In high school, he loved to draw and make people laugh,” Denton said. “His art teacher told him he wasn't any good; she said he would never make it. In college, he was voted 'Least Likely To Succeed.'”

While attending Cambridge University, during Prohibition, Geisel was caught drinking in his dorm room and kicked off of the school magazine which he wrote and drew cartoons for. He was not one to give up so easily, though.

“His mother wanted him to be a doctor, and her maiden name – his middle name – was Seuss,” Denton said. “So he began writing and drawing under the pen name, Dr. Seuss.”

Dr. Seuss attended Oxford from 1925 to 1926, after raising the money himself when he was not awarded a grant. There, he met his future wife, and the two moved back to America after he decided studying Literature was not his forte. Back in America, Dr. Seuss began a successful career in advertising, and in the meantime, continued writing stories. His first book, And To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was rejected by 27 publishers until 1937, when an old college friend presented him with a publishing contract.

From 1937 to 1990, Dr. Seuss published over 44 books under his famous pseudonym, plus an additional collection of books under different names. Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 after a battle with throat cancer at the age of 87. His rhymes, drawings, and imaginary words remain a marvel within the literacy community, impacting readers of all ages.

Theodore Seuss Geisel is a well-known name in the advertising world, but his words and lessons from his children's books remain in the heart of millions of children over the world.

“Dr. Seuss loved children,” Denton said. “He never had any, but he loved them. He always put kids in a positive light, always treated them with love and patience and held them to a high esteem.”

Dr. Seuss week at BCISD goes a step above reading to children. Each year, the community donates Dr. Seuss books to the schools, and a winner from each class at Shady Grove Elementary and Bertram Elementary is awarded a book to take home.

When Darlene Denton is not at the schools disguised as the Cat in the Hat, she can be found at the Parent Resource Center. The center, located at 202 E. Brier Lane, Burnet, contains a library, classroom, informational pamphlets, and other material geared towards helping parents.

“When I took this job, we wanted to have one place where all the parent elements would come under, a place where parents know they could get assistance,” Denton said. “It is a beautiful facility.”

Cooking classes, GED classes, and other events also take place at the Parent Resource Center. As Parent-Volunteer Coordinator, Denton says making a difference in people's lives is one of the best aspects of her job.

“That difference will be different to every single person,” Denton said. “It is great seeing someone get their GED, learn to warm up to dogs during my Marley Christmas program, and seeing these kids inspired by Dr. Seuss's lessons and wisdom, knowing they are not going to give up on their dreams because they read about someone else who didn't give up.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet