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Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! It's 'Read Across America Day' in NC

March 2, 2012

MONROE, N.C. - Thousands of children across North Carolina will celebrate a special birthday today. It's Dr. Seuss's birthday, which is also "Read Across America Day," sponsored in the Tar Heel State by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

It's a day when community leaders, celebrities and parents visit schools across the nation to read their favorite books to children. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is among those who will be reading, at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts in Monroe.

"It tantalizes children's interest in things. When they can read, they can go places they never went before, and that triggers the imagination."

Dr. Seuss's books are credited with reigniting children's love of reading when they were first published in the 1950s and '60s. He published more than 60 titles. This weekend, one of his books, "The Lorax," makes its debut at theaters as a feature film about the importance of caring for the environment.

Dawn Moretz, a creative-drama teacher at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, says seeing someone like the lieutenant governor reading sends an important message to students.

"We want our students to know at all levels that reading is not just something you do for a grade. Reading is something you do as a life skill, and it's something you do for enjoyment."

Read Across America Day was started 14 years ago by the National Education Association.

Stephanie Carroll Carson/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NC