Indianapolis mayor, first graders celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday

By Zoie Richey
TheStatehouseFile.com 

INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett immersed himself in the world of Dr. Seuss as he read one of Seuss’ famous books and shared actual green eggs and ham with a first grade class Monday.

Global Preparatory Academy celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 113th birthday with Hogsett as he went to multiple classrooms and read Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” to students. The celebration was part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day to show students the joys and importance of reading.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett spent Monday morning reading to a first grade class at Global Preparatory Academy. His book of choice was “Green Eggs and Ham.” Photo by Zoie Richey, TheStatehouseFile.com

The two dozen youngsters in the classroom were excited to see their visitor, with one even asking if he was the president of the United States. Hogsett later explained that no, he wasn’t the president.

As the mayor read the verses of Green Eggs and Ham, the children leaned in and laughed as he worked his way through the story.  As he finished, they applauded.

Hogsett said that as a mayor and father said it’s critical to read to children. He hopes children gain a greater appreciation for learning how to read and comprehend, and realize how important reading is for their future development.

“Every step that we can take to help ensure that is an important step in the right direction in the life of the children,” said Hogsett.

To Hogsett, getting people from the community involved in a child’s learning experience can have benefits for both parties. He said he hopes students get joy from meeting the city’s chief executive.

“I would hope adults from all walks of life see the richness and the enjoyment, not only that the kids receive, but frankly it’s an enriching and joyful experience for those who read to children,” said Hogsett. “I think that the more role models that we show the kids, then the more possibilities they can envision for their own future.”

Marion Robinson, executive director of the Lillian Davis Foundation, oversaw the school’s event. Robinson’s job with the Lillian Davis Foundation is to put on events that improve the quality of education and life for students, such as the Read Across America event held Monday.

Mayor Joe Hogsett sat down with a first grade class and enjoyed a meal of green eggs and ham. Photo by Zoie Richey, TheStatehouseFile.com

“Every year is successful. Any time that we can get into the school and bring the community together with the school, and promote reading with students and talk about our careers and how we use reading in our careers, we believe it’s successful,” said Robinson.

Robinson said reading is our primary language, and that we need it to be able to make managing life less difficult.

“Anything to ease barriers in a child’s life that’s going to put them on a good path, we want to do that and that’s why we come back every year,” said Robinson.

Zoie Richey is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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