By Nancy Gutierrez

Theodore Seuss Geisel was born in 1904. At the age of 33 he published his first children's book titled, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," and so began the wrold of Dr. Seuss and the many childrens books that would come from the mind of Geisel.

March 2 marked Seuss' 100th birthday and to celebrate, the students at Rocky Hill and Lincoln elementary schools were treated to readings of Seuss' books by a variety of school and city representatives.

At Lincoln, students were treated to a breakfast of green eggs and ham. Throughout the day the kindergarten first and second graders were read to by dignitaries like Exeter Mayor Leon Ooley, EUSD Superintendent Renee Whitson and Assemblyman Bill Maze.

At Rocky Hill, representatives from Maze's office were also on hand to recite form the pages of books like "One Fish Two Fish" and "The Cat in the Hat."

Many classes had lessons incorporating Suess and his array of books. He published 44 children's books in more than 20 languages. To commemorate the centenial celebration a stamp was issued March 3. In Gina Wises fourth grade class students wrote letters to send to each other on the day of the release to collect the commemorative stamp.

The national observance of Seuss' birthday is also a way for educators to reinforce the improtance of reading. Rocky Hill teacher Doug Snyder holds an annual reading competition. Snyder challenges students to read 3,000 pages by the end of the year. One eagar student, Zach Dirdak, has already read close to 7,000 pages.

"Each year this contest makes one or two kids a reader," Snyder said.

The Association of American Publishers website provides research that shows that the development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child's success in learning to read. It stated that early reading experiences are now recognized as being of such importance that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that "pediatricians prescribe reading activities along with other instructions given to parents at the time of well-child visits." The President of the pediatrics academy, Dr. Robert E. Hannemann, stated. "We strongly recommend daily reading to children from six months of age."

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