“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.”
This opening line from Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s book, “The Cat in the Hat,” perfectly set the scene when state representative Tom Murt (R-152) visited the students of on the morning of Feb. 29.
For several consecutive years, Murt has taken the time out to visit St. David’s in order to share his love of reading.
“Reading is one of the foundation blocks of education,” Murt, a former Upper Moreland School Board member, said. “We like to come out and stress a strong reading habit.”
According to Murt, since taking office in 2006, he is not aware of ever turning down an opportunity to read to students at schools in his district. This week, Murt also visited William H. Loesche School in Philadelphia and the Devereux CARES (Center for Autism Research and Education Services) in Downingtown.
Inside the Father Curran Hall of , where he and his family are parishioners, Murt read “The Cat in the Hat,” among other Dr. Seuss books, to 140 eager pre-kindergarten through second-grade St. David students, as well as students from the Our Lady of Confidence School.
Murt said that it is important to get younger students to embrace the love of reading early.
“In the beginning, we learn to read,” Murt, also a former school teacher, said. “As we grow up, we read to learn.”
According to Pat Kensey, St. David School first-grade teacher, who organized the event, the students enjoy having their very own “local celebrity” reading to them each year.
“He’s so gracious to come,” Kensey said. “He always makes time for us.”
Kensey, a 37-year veteran teacher, said that reading Dr. Seuss books in a school setting helps reinforce what they’ve already learned.
“Because parents read Dr. Seuss books to their children at home,” Kensey said.
She added that Dr. Seuss provided some highly accommodating tools to teach reading for younger children, given his books’ many fun rhyme schemes and memorable characters.
Kensey said that it is for this reason St. David’s participates in the national Read Across America Event, sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA)
According to the NEA website, the Read Across America event celebrates the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss, in which children spend the day reading.
Tomorrow, March 2, Dr. Seuss would have turned 101 years old.
Prior to the actual Read Across America Event, many schools, including St. David, spend the week exploring the world of Dr. Seuss with related themed days and educational activities.
“We think this is something to celebrate,” Kensey said. “Celebrating reading is important, because this is where they get their foundation.”
The celebration continued on Feb. 29 when St. David faculty and parent volunteers served the students and their celebrity guest a very special Dr. Seuss breakfast: real green-eggs and ham.
"We hope that this tradition continues for years to come,” Kensey said.