MEMS parade encourages reading



by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


3/14/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- To further the National Education Association's initiative to motivate children to read more, Maxwell Elementary/Middle School held a Read Across America Parade, March 6, inside the school.

Taking place the same week as Dr. Seuss's birthday, the event honored author Theodor Seuss Geisel by encouraging students to dress up as either Seuss characters or characters from their favorite books.

"Dr. Seuss exemplifies a love of children and a love of reading," said Carolyn White, a kindergarten teacher at MEMS and coordinator for the event. "When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a message to the children that reading is important and also very fun," she said.

Fairy princesses, pirates, robots and military members were just some of the costumes worn by students during the festivities.

Students paraded the halls, cheering each other on and showcasing their costumes while holding copies of their favorite books. Each class that participated got the chance to display their costumes on stage in front of the parents and staff while sharing a small dance routine with their new principal, Dr. Ronald Knight.

"These types of events are very important for the school for multiple reasons," said Knight. "It brings the school together as a community, it gives us something that children love that brings our parents in the school building, and it benefits the students by making something like reading a big, fun and enthusiastic event."

White said that she was extremely pleased with the student reaction to the event.

"This was an exciting culminating activity that allowed our students to share their enthusiasm for reading with students in other grade levels," White said. "I feel that the students really enjoyed themselves as did the staff and parents."

She hopes to make the Read Across America parade an annual event at the school.

"As far as next year goes, we will have to wait and see. I would really like for this to become an annual event for the school. It would be great if incoming students could take part in the event to share the joys of reading,"she said.