Celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday Event at Sayre Public Library aims to motivate kids to read
At the Sayre Public Library on Saturday, it seemed like part of the children's book section had come to life.
Characters from Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" - Thing 1 and Thing 2, as well as the Cat in the Hat himself - were walking around in the library, although much better behaved than you might expect. There was another Dr. Seuss character in the building, too, the Lorax.
Approximately 175 children were in the library as well, many of them many making crafts and doing other activities that had a Dr. Seuss theme.
At the beginning of the two-hour event, adults read The Lorax and other Dr. Seuss stories to the children.
"I've never seen so many kids being read to," said Kara Cochi, who is on the board of directors of the Sayre Public Library.
Saturday's activities at the library, which lasted two hours, were all part of the birthday celebration for Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, which is held at the library every year.
The event even included a large birthday cake for the public.
"This is a great way to inspire children (to read)," said Becky Thornton, a reading teacher in the Athens Area School District who was attending the event for the first time.
Thornton said that her four-year-old daughter, Anna, who was also at the event, now wants to re-read some of her old favorite Dr. Seuss stories. "She's excited about Dr. Seuss," Thornton said.
Thornton said that she had just overheard a parent at the event asking a librarian if she had a copy of "Cat in the Hat."
Sayre High School student Joe Post, who was dressed up at The Lorax, said that the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham" was the first book he had ever read.
He said he liked reading the book and it motivated him to read other books.
"This is an exceptional event," said Susan DePumpo Robinson, director of the library. "If you can get kids in here (at the library) at a young age, they will keep coming back."
The birthday celebration at the library is now in its sixth year, and every year its attendance seems to grow, said Megan Gilson, a member of the board of directors of the Sayre Library and member of the Valley Kiwanis Club, which co-sponsors the event.
"We had more people here today by far than we've ever had" at past Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations, she said. She estimated that the total attendance, including parents, at 300 or more.
This year's birthday celebration at the library, which is also called the "Seusstacular," had a theme of "Standing your Ground," Gilson said.
Gilson said that several Dr. Seuss characters - the Lorax, Gerald McBoing Boing, and Marvin K. Mooney - are strong-willed characters who stay true to their beliefs and fight for what's right, Gilson said.
The activities at Saturday's "Seusstacular" were related to the books that those characters are in, she said.
At the Seusstacular, there were door prizes for kids, including books, dolls, and a DVD.
Saturday's "Seusstacular" was co-sponsored by the Sayre Public Library.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: email@example.com.