On March 1, I had the privilege of participating in Joseph Weller Elementary School’s annual “Read Across Weller” event, where community members are invited to read books to students on Dr. Seuss day. My day started off with reading “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!” by Dr. Seuss to a group of first graders for my first group. The first graders were very excited, constantly interrupting the story with bursts of laughter, and telling stories of their own. Although we did not get to finish the book, the students enjoyed the experience (even more than me!) and were especially amused by a picture of Miss Bonkers kissing the principal, Mr. Lowe, on the forehead.
My second group included another cluster of first graders, who had heard the hysterical laughter from my previous group, wanting to read the same book. These students were particularly interested in the pictures, and noticed details that even I had not seen. Again, the picture of Miss Bonkers kissing Mr. Lowe’s forehead was a popular page, where the students pointed out Mr. Lowe’s shoes had fallen off as a result of his shock and happiness.
My last group was inside a classroom, where the students seemed introverted and patiently quiet. However, after bargaining with them to reveal their names in exchange for the knowledge of my name AND favorite color, the children were more comfortable and talkative. By the end of my twenty minute reading, I was surrounded by students hugging me with all their might, pleading that I come in as their substitute teacher the next day, to which I replied, “It’s Saturday tomorrow!”
I had a wonderful time interacting with Weller’s first graders. I hope to participate in this event again next year.