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There were one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish in Mrs. Spokes’ third-grade classroom Friday, March 1.

West Sedona School and others in the Verde Valley again invited community members to the schools to read to the students in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Saturday, March 2, and Read Across America Day.

Students enjoy green eggs for breakfast in the lunch room at West Sedona School. Students celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2, 1904, on Friday, March 1, with breakfast and then a visit from community members who read stories. Dr. Seuss’ birthday coincides with Read Across America Day.The party started long before the readers arrived for a breakfast of green eggs and ham, just as Sam I Am would have liked.

This marked the second year I participated in the event aimed at promoting reading among America’s youth.

Few children immediately find reading fun.

Even those who will later grow up to be writers, editors and simply lovers of the written word sometimes need a little inspiration.

When I told the third-grade students what I do at my job — read and write all day long — they gasped in horror.

Most of their faces reflected the pain I’m sure they thought I must endure on a daily basis if in fact I told the truth and must read or write for eight-plus hours a day.

After assuring them it is not torture and I do it willingly, I revealed another secret that further shocked them.

When I go home, I keep reading, whether it’s a magazine, The Arizona Republic or a book, reading is also something I like to do in my free time.

Just when I had brought them to the point of disbelief that any such person could exist, I showed them how reading can be fun.

“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” is about as fun as it gets when reading to children.

While I navigated the tongue twisting lines the children cheered for my triumphs with the language and shared a laugh when my tongue became twisted in knots.

We shared a good time while doing the one thing many children hate — reading.

As adults, especially those of us who found a love for reading, we need to show children reading can be fun.

Reading is the foundation of education and without this basic skill, students will struggle. Every other subject relies on a student’s ability to read directions, theories, problems or answers.

Encourage the children in your life to pick up a book, regardless of whether it’s your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or the children of your friends.

A smarter world is a better world.


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