Students with special needs celebrated reading and Dr. Seuss’
birthday recently at two San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) schools in
The festivities, inspired by the national Read Across
America event, commenced Feb. 27 at Friendship School, which serves students who
are medically fragile and have several disabilities. Several people, including,
teachers, parents and SDCOE employees volunteered to read to the students for
“We’re really trying to make sure our kids get the same
opportunities as everyone else,” Principal Diana Lynn said.
Educators at the Imperial Beach school have been holding
their version of the event, which they named Everybody Reads, for about five
years. This year, they dressed up as the Dr. Seuss character the Lorax,
complete with fake moustaches and bright colors.
Teachers at Davila Day School held their own event March 3.
The school serves students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Some classrooms there had volunteers reading stories aloud. Another
volunteer told the stories through sign language.
“The kids love it,” said Christina Neal, coordinator at the
school. “It’s a special treat for them.”
After the readings, the students dressed up as characters
from books and had a parade around their small school. The school shares a
campus with Vista Square Elementary School in Chula Vista.
The parade is part of a tradition Davila Day School shared
for years with the elementary school. About five years ago, when the Vista
Square Elementary stopped doing the parade, educators at Davila Day School
decided to continue it themselves.
Russell Coronado, one of the volunteers, said he loves
seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces as he reads them stories. Also, it’s a
good way to stress the importance of literacy and highlight how fun reading can
be, said Coronado, senior director of the South County Special Education Local Plan Area.
“It’s good for them to see someone else reading besides
their teacher,” he said.
Schools across the nation celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on
or near March 2 each year as part of Read Across America. The National Education
Association started the event in 1998 to get children excited about reading.
Top: Vadja Kolombotovic, a retired teacher, volunteers to tell
stories using American Sign Language to students at Davila Day School March 3
as part of a celebration of reading.
Bottom: Melody Rodriguez, a teacher at Friendship School, reads to students there Feb. 27 as part of their Everybody Reads event.