Preschoolers from West Haven Community House’s Head Start program joined millions of other students across the country to celebrate the 21st annual “Read Across America Day.” The annual reading motivation and awareness event calls for every child in every community to pick up a book and read on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The event, which began in 1998 by the National Education Association, is the nation’s largest celebration of reading with more than 45 million participants, both young and old, fostering the love of reading.
A couple of special visitors joined in the celebration to read some books from the library of Dr. Seuss to the Head Start preschoolers. First came “Cat in the Hat,” aka Kelly Ruickoldt, Head Start office manager, who was greeted with hugs from the wide-eyed preschoolers.
The Cat handed out lollipop-shaped coloring books to the children in each of the eight classrooms after a theatrical reading of “Fox in Socks.”
Mayor Nancy Rossi stopped by to read to the children as they sat quietly and giggled occasionally at the tongue twisting, rhyming rendition of “Hop on Pop’ and ‘I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.”
For more than seven decades, the Community House has been the cornerstone social service agency in West Haven with programs to help individuals and families achieve success in their lives and realize bright futures.
The Head Start school readiness program offers preschoolers the educational foundation they need to be socially, emotionally and mentally prepared for Kindergarten.
Each of the 144 children in the Head Start program received a brand new, hard cover book donated by Read to Grow, a nonprofit organization that provides books to families and to programs and helps parents create language-rich homes in which children can develop critical early skills.