Kids all around Anne Arundel County have been commemorating the 101st birthday of Dr. Seuss by reading aloud and in great quantities.
On Wednesday, for example, Annapolis notables such as Mayor Ellen O. Moyer read a Circus McGurkus book to children at the Chesapeake Children's Museum.
And as part of the annual celebration of Read Across America, Jean Piper's second-graders from Davidsonville Elementary and Cheryl Sahin's fourth-graders at Crofton Woods Elementary won a Maryland State Teachers Association contest to see which class statewide could read the most books. Davidsonville pupils enjoyed a "green eggs and ham" breakfast Wednesday to celebrate.
Statewide, kids read a total of 29,519 books in November for the contest. The two winning classes received $1,000 worth of books, and each of their teachers won a $100 Staples gift certificate.
Arundel schools have won the event for the past three years, said Debra Williams-Garner, a spokeswoman with the Maryland State Teachers Association. The mission is to encourage reading. "We know those who read a lot are more successful in the classroom," she said.
Debi Olshaw of Davidsonville said her 7-year-old son, Joshua, loves sports but was spurred on to read by the classroom effort.
"The contest gave him the incentive because he's also very competitive," she said.
Joshua said he read a lot of Dr. Seuss books for the contest, including Green Eggs and Ham. He enjoys reading because "in your mind, it feels like you're somewhere else," he said.
Activities such as these are designed to "promote a lifelong love of reading as a recreation activity," said Marsha Meekins, a teacher advocate for the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County.
More than 8,000 county children read thousands of books in response to the challenge posed by the teachers union.
Of the 47 county schools that participated, pupils at 29 schools met the challenge of reading at least 101 books per grade, Meekins said. Those children are eligible to win $10 gift cards from Borders Books & Music.
On Thursday, the Arundel teachers association members also delivered soft baby books and Dr. Seuss works to an infant born Wednesday, Meekins said.
The Annapolis and Severna Park branches were among the local libraries that also held events to mark the author's March 2 birthday.
A "green eggs and ham" breakfast honoring the fourth-graders at Crofton Woods Elementary was canceled Tuesday but will be rescheduled, Williams-Garner said.
Schools countywide had planned events March 11. However, because the mathematics portion of the Maryland State Assessment was rescheduled for that day, each school is deciding when to hold its events, Meekins said.