By Debbie Adams
The William Byrd High School boys and girls basketball teams helped celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day on March 2 by reading to students in grades Pre-K through five at Herman L. Horn Elementary that morning.
Vinton Mayor Brad Grose, members of the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club, and employees of the Conner Group and HomeTrust Bank also participated in the special event.
Members of the WBHS boys basketball team included Jackson Meador, Daveon Cossaboon, Camden Richardson, Garrett Hendrick, Cade Hanson, Trevor Ruble, Tyler Martin, Jamie Cawley, Jeffrey Williams, Ethan Tinsley, Desmond Turner, Wyatt Early, and Landon Johnson. Coach Josh Cunningham accompanied the team.
Readers from the girls basketball team at William Byrd included Riley Firebaugh, Mya Rosser, Jaylen Rosser, Sophia Chrisley, Ashlyn Stover, Alexis Helton, Emilie McCaskill, and Amna Becirevic. The girls are coached by Brad Greenway, who accompanied them.
Members of the Vinton Breakfast Lions and the Conner Group participating in the event included Mayor Grose, Anthony Conner, Catherine Nolen, Becca Abshire, Phyllis Preston, Christina Smith, and Wesley Brough, along with Julie Wheeler from Home Trust Bank.
Readers chose a variety of books, some by Dr. Seuss, and some not. Brough read a really delightful book, “You’re Here for a Reason” by Nancy Tillman, to second graders in Wanda Melchers’ class. “You’re here for a reason. If you think you’re not, I would just say that perhaps you forgot . . .a piece of the world that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you weren’t here.”
The mayor read Dr. Seuss’s “Book of Colors” to the kindergarten students in Kristen Bray’s class. There was a question-and-answer period afterwards. When asked what he liked about being mayor of Vinton, Mayor Grose told the students that he “liked helping people and making sure the community has what it needs.”
Bray’s students were interested in what Jackson Meador liked and didn’t like about playing basketball in his question-and-answer time after reading. He told them “running” was the worst of it.
After students in Beth Greenway’s first grade class heard “The Cat in the Hat” read by Emile McCaskill, Coach Greenway (Beth’s husband) quizzed them on whether they were Virginia Tech fans— he earned his Master’s Degree there.
The birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss (the pen name of author Theodore Seuss Geisel) has been used for 22 years to promote reading across the country and around the world. Schools traditionally invite leaders in their local community and school systems to read to children for the event.
“Literacy Spirit Week” is being celebrated from March 2-6 at Herman L. Horn. On Monday, March 2, students were invited to “Seuss Yourself Day” and dress up as their favorite Seuss character. On “Wacky Wednesday” they could wear their clothes backwards or inside out. Thursday was scheduled as “The Cat in the Hat Day” with students wearing their favorite hats. The week was to finish up with “Thing One and Thing Two Day” by “grabbing a friend and dressing up as twins.”
The events at Herman L. Horn were organized and facilitated by Reading Specialist Dorr Booan.