TAMIU President, Dean Celebrate 'National Read Across America Day'

What do "green eggs and ham," a creature named a "who" and "a cat in a hat" have in common?

All are the products of the famed childrens' story writer Dr. Seuss and all will be celebrated at Texas A&M International University's Reading Research Center as part of its National Read Across America Day observances.

On Feb. 27 and March 3 respectively, students of the Center will hear bilingual (English-Spanish) readings of stories by Seuss as delivered by Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, and Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the College of Education.

Dr. Keck will read on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Cowart Hall 125. Dr. Vida will read on Monday, March 3, at 5:00 p.m. in CH-125.

Dr. Vida explained that the simple act of sharing reading with a child is a small but meaningful act that has lasting value.

"Any parent can tell you of the joy and excitement that this small, but meaningful act can bring. Sadly, according to National Center for Education statistics, only 53 percent of children ages 3-5 are read to daily by a family member," she explained.

Dr. Barbara Greybeck, who directs the University's Reading Research Center, said the value of reading to children is clear.

"The effort is great, but so are the rewards: children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school and children who read frequently tend to develop stronger reading skills which will serve them for the rest of their lives," Dr. Greybeck said.

In addition to the readings, student participants will be given gifts of Dr. Seuss' books donated by Mary Lamar Killam and Minnie Dora Bunn Haynes. Students are primarily third and fourth graders from throughout the city,

The Reading Research Center, located in Cowart Hall, is part of the University's College of Education. Its goals include enhancing research related to linguistically and culturally diverse students' reading abilities, and to determine teaching strategies to assist these students in becoming skillful readers.

National Read Across America Day is held on Dr. Seuss' birthday, every March 3. Seuss would have been 99 years old this March, also the sixth anniversary of the event.

Organizers say that Read Across America Day is the biggest one-day literacy celebration in the U.S. and possibly in the world. Last year saw events in all 50 states that attracted nearly 40 million readers of all ages.

For additional information, contact the Reading Research Center at 326-2924, visit offices in Cowart Hall or email bgreybeck@tamiu.edu

For additional information on Read Across America Day, visit www.nea.org/readacross/

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu