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March 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 6, 1998

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 6 - March 12, 1998 - 43 SCHOOL & EDUCATION Cape Region kids see and say Dr. Seuss as they 'Read Across America' By Rosanne Pack Hats that were tall, hats that were strip-stripy; kids reading tomes, all smiley and likey; silly words and bright pages from Delaware to Ketchikan; reed, red, reading all across American. There could be no mistaking that it was Dr. Seuss's birthday March 2, as Cat in the Hat pre- tenders turned up in schools, nurs- ing homes, libraries and who knows where-ies. In the Cape Region, kids read to kids and to senior citizens, probably doctors read to patients and lawyers to liti- gants. Lewes Middle School students took "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," "The Cat in the Hat" and "Horton Hears A Who" across the street to the classrooms of Shields Elementary and young- sters from H.O. Brittingham Ele- mentary came to Harbor Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, toting copies of "Green Eggs and Ham," "The Butter Battle Book" and "Oh, the Places You Will Go!" Many of the listeners were Rosanne Pack photos Joining in Read Across America, Jacob Adams, Lewes Middle School, makes a Seussian fash- ion statement as he reads to Shields first graders (l-r) Heather Brewington, Kimmie Davis, Grace Jang and Chad McMaster. :::, .... i Above, left, H. O. Brittingham fourth-grader Katie Beck shares Dr. fleuss's "The Foot Book n with Harbor Health Care resident Sarah "Betty" Nagy as they participate in Read Across America. At right, reading and rhyming aloud in a Seussian manner, H.O. Brittingham stu- dents Matt Lindemer, left, and David "D.J." McCabe, take turns reading to Harbor Health Care resident Jennie Gallucci. quite familiar with the material, but everyone wanted to hear the rhyming, nonsense words that usually tell a tale of good- humored philosophy. The day of reading and sharing was sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA). Planned for the birthday of one of the world's best-loved authors of children's books, Read Across America included events from Maine to California. According to NEA research, children who read outside of school do better in school. The goal of NEA's Read Across America was to put every child in every community in the company of a book on Dr. Seuss's birthday. Area teachers Maryellen Morris and Janet Lank are some of those involved in the national celebra- tion of reading. Morris coordinat- ed Lewes Middle School students reading to elementary school stu- dents at Shields and Lank took a busload of H.O.B. elementary stu- dents to Harbor Health Care where they read to residents of all ages. Betty Nagy, Harbor Health resi- dent was delighted with how well the H.O.B. students read. She wasn't that familiar with the denizens of Seuss's "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" but she knew good reading when she heard it. Even though she did know almost every word of "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," Paige Morris of Shields ele- mentary enjoyed Chad Travis's delivery when the Lewes Middle student donned a tall hat meant for a cat and read every rhyming word. Summing up the day that included her students and others reading aloud all over Cape dis- trict, Morris said, "This is a win- win situation for everyone involved. The students were able to model good reading and the lis- teners got to hear some interesting books." At Rehoboth Elementary School, peer leaders from the fourth through sixth grades read Dr. Seuss books to pre-kinder- garten, kindergarten and first- grade students. The peer leaders ate chosen from students in good academic standings who serve as Continued on page 44 Cape Henl0 )en School District menus The Cape Henlopen School District Menu for the week of March 9 to 13 includes the following: Elementary and middle schools: Monday, March 9 - Hot dog on roll, meatball sub or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, including baked beans, sauerkraut, chicken noodle soup, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Tuesday, March 10 - Cheeseburger on bun, pizza, or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, including french fries, vegetable soup, fruit- ed jello with topping, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Wednesday, March 11 - "Breakfast at Noon," sausage patty or sand- wich choice; choice of two sides, including French toast sticks,' hash brown, applesauce, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Thursday, March 12 - Meat taco, beefaroni or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, including corn, tomato/lettuce, Spanish rice, chilled peaches, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. (Meal includes breadsticks.) Friday, March 13 - Toasted cheese, pizza or sandwich choice; choice of two sides, tomato soup, carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter, fresh fruit, orange or apple juice. Hooked on a book- there's nothing more powerful I read to my students every day. Most teachers that I know do. When I began reading "Redwall," a novel by Brian Jaques, the stu- dents looked as if their were ready for a nap. Their heads were down on their desks, they were quiet, yet attentive. That was okay with me. When I read to them I am like a fisherman, out to hook the big tuna. I am fishing for their interest and their curiosity. I am casting my line into the waters, hoping to catch a student's imagination. "Redwall" was just the book I needed to hook them into fantasy and fun. The students relaxed as they lis- tened to the tale of Redwall Abbey, featuring the peaceful mice and the dreaded evil rats. I was starting off slow and hoping to gradually reel them in. That was in September. We are now two-thirds of the SCHOOL JOURNAL way through the book. Although I read for 10 minutes every day, they beg to hear more. The book is an allegory, replete'with lessons for everyone in everyday life. Stu- dents love this book. I love this book for demonstrating to them the power of great literature. Thank you, Brian Jaques! This book is huge. Brian Jaques is an English author who has writ- ten an entire series of Redwall books. There are prequels, "Moss- flower," and sequels, "Matimeo." To date, there have been more than 10 books written. The Inter- net has several Web sites devoted to "Redwall." What is it that makes this book so special'? This book is a fantasy that has all of the elements of good fiction: good against evil, justice vs. injustice, romance, action, adventure, and on and on. The characters are small animals - mice, rats, badgers, sparrows, stoats and weasels. Each group has unique mannerisms. The mice are peaceful and maintain an orderly society. The rats are scoundrels and steal and kill out of greed. The sparrows speak their own dialect but with a little prac- tice, the mice can understand them. In my classroom we are cel- ebrating "Redwall" week. Each student has chosen to become a character from the book. A mural, a skit, and some improvisation will follow - great fun and a chance to interpret this great work. The Redwail story has been turned into an original opera and will be performed at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington this weekend. OperaDelaware com- missioned Evelyn Swensson to write the music and the script. Bri- an Jacques is scheduled to be there. My class will go see it on Monday. There is nothing more powerful than a good book. For me, "Red- wall" has delivered on its promise to get kids hooked on reading. When we go see "Redwall," we will be going out to lunch that day. I think I'll have a tuna sandwich. Diane Saienni Albanese is a parent and an educator in the Cape Henlopen School District and at Delaware Tech in George- town. Diane Albanese