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The City Journals

UPS and Netflix volunteers help at Lincoln Elementary’s Dr. Seuss Day

Apr 11, 2018 11:44AM ● By Jessica Ivins

United Way volunteer Jeff Lynch helps Ms. Christensen’s kindergarten student, Amal, make a turtle cookie treat . (Jessica Ivins/City Journals)

Principal Milton Collins from Lincoln Elementary was dressed in a Dr. Seuss hat and a backpack with “The Cat in the Hat” cat popping out of the backpack.  Lincoln Elementary was busy celebrating Dr. Seuss Day on March 2.

“This was the first year that United Way organized this event, with help from AmeriCorps workers Sylvia Cunningham and Cynthia Witt.  The event was a huge success with lots of positive comments from teachers and students,” said Collins.

Volunteers crowded into the gym for directions from the United Way Community Director Abram Sharrod, to help students have a fun-filled Dr. Seuss Day. 

“If a child is approached by someone who is excited about learning it will increase the odds that that child will pick up a book and read it on his or her own free will,” Sharrod said. 

Read Across America is an initiative set out by the National Education Association each year. Since 1997, schools all over America have been celebrating Read Across America in their own way. Lincoln Elementary had the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day. Sharrod worked with AmeriCorps, to bring all the ends together to make the day a success. 

The kids enjoyed a reading of “Yertle the Turtle” and “Gertrude McFuzz.” The books and supplies were donated by Netflix and United Postal Service. The children played literature games and made cookie turtles to devour. 

Volunteers from Netflix and UPS joyfully gave up their Friday to read to the children at Lincoln Elementary in hopes of making a difference.  UPS site director Jeff Lynch joined in the fun dressed as the cat from “The Cat in the Hat” donning a tail and face paint. He even brought his daughter, Parker, to help with the crafts. 

And others simply had their best narrator voices on for a tale that was sure to entertain.

Everyone had one goal in common: Reading is fun. 

Lincoln Elementary children were all engaged, whether it was “The Cat in the Hat” costume, the animated voices, or the storyline of Max’s burp in “Yertle the Turtle” or Gertrude McFuzz’s desire to have more beautiful feathers in “Gertrude McFuzz.” 

United Way has a unique “Promise of a Collective Impact” to bring businesses together to help schools avoid the declivity and instead reach for success. Abram said, “As the United Way community school director I work closely with the school. I work to bring community engagement opportunities for our students, but understanding how many responsibilities school administrators have I try to take some of the planning pressure off of school administration.” 

Reading is something that all educators would like to see their students enjoying. It was helpful that Sharrod is passionate about reading and has fond memories of encouraging teachers.

“I was blessed to have teachers who would send me home with books around my interest at a young age. I remember distinctly having teachers in junior high and high school send me home with books that they knew I’d enjoy that also contributed to my academic development,” Sharrod said.

This collective effort from the community was a success at Lincoln Elementary helping kids smile and to see the fun that can happen when they pick up a book.