The North Bergen Public Library’s Kennedy Branch held its annual Dr. Seuss celebration Feb. 28, the time when Dr. Seuss’s birthday spurs the national Read Across America reading motivation program in schools. Mayor Nicholas Sacco read Seuss’s “Hop on Pop” to the young attendees, and a magician performed magic tricks, as part of the event.
The Cat in The Hat also made a surprise cameo appearance.
The library was set to hold a second Dr. Seuss event March 2 at the Main Library, the official Read Across America Day.
“I want to see the event,” said Millie Winters, 4, a local resident. She cited “Green Eggs and Ham” as her favorite Seuss book.
“It’s just a wonderful experience when children start to enjoy reading.” – Mayor Nicholas Sacco
“I’ve liked that since I was a little kid,” she said.
For their brother, Justin Winters, 7, he was there to just “read Dr. Seuss books.”
“He’s a big reader,” said Debbie DeFazio, grandmother to all three.
“It’s just a wonderful experience when children start to enjoy reading,” Mayor Sacco said about the event, after reading to the kids.
“It’s a good experience for both me and them. We have fun with it. It’s a learning experience, and it’s a very positive one, because it’s fun. They enjoy the story; they enjoy interacting. That’s one of the reasons why we’re doing it.”
For magician Tom Durnin, a former teacher for 12 years, reading has become more important in the technology age.
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“Social media and iPhones are not the death of our culture, but iPhones have left the kids depending on Spellcheck,” Durnin said after his performance.
“Spellcheck is destroying kids’ ability to look up words. It’s not cool. So to me, what reading does is that it gives you a large vocabulary, and you’re able to communicate better. To me, the fact that kids are reading – the thing is, at that point, it opens up so many avenues of what you can do.”
Durnin also said that without the vernacular that comes from reading, potential young authors will hit a roadblock.
“One of my favorite quotes in life is, “ ‘For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been,’” he added.
“There’s kids in these shows who have the ability to write a great story. But if they don’t have the background—the building blocks of grammar, vocabulary, it’s not happening. So that’s why school’s important. The library is the call. Kids need to come to the library all the time.”
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