Read aloud, first lady tells crowd Education: Hillary Rodham Clinton takes time to impress on folks young and old the importance of reading.

March 03, 1998|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

(With apologies to the late Theodor Seuss Geisel)

Hillary Clinton wants you to read.

For kids, she said, it's a vital need.

At the Learning Ideas store out in P.G.

she would read to tots ages 4 and 3.

(She also got heaps of publicity.

When she arrives, so does TV.)

On the 94th B-day of Dr. Seuss,

She put the spotlight to good use.

And so she told the assembled crowd

They need to read - and to read aloud.

With hands to be held and books to be read,

Thoughts of subpoenas turned tail and fled.

Some 50 adults were also there.

They came to gawk. They came to stare.

Union reps and vendors of books

gave Mrs. Clinton adoring looks.

They nodded with each reading refrain

scripted as part of a U.S. campaign.

Steny Hoyer showed up, too.

That Maryland pol knew just what to do.

He winked at the throng and shook every

hand

and said every parent should take a firm

stand.

Ancient and new, about chores and glories,

all children need to hear such stories.

Author Rosemary Wells, her books nnchart-topping,

was there to help young minds stop stopping.

Twenty minutes each day! Not much to ask!

Mrs. Clinton called it a joyful task.

Read books together! Don't read apart!

She'd read to John Howard Elementary Head Start!

At last, waiting aides brought in the tykes

who gazed agape at the TV mikes.

Demetruis Harris, who is all of 4,

sat on her lap. Others, the floor.

Finally, reading took center stage

As young boy and first lady regarded each page.

Grown-ups grumbled as cameras whirred.

Teachers were nervous as children stirred.

Do you write stories? she asked. They make you smiley?

To her query, a few kids raised hands shyly.

They made Hillary's day. They made her nnnight.

To be read to, she said, is every kid's right.

Pub Date: 3/03/98

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