Dr. Seuss ‘On the Loose’ at Judd Elementary School

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Pre-K student Benjamin Hanna completes a craft based on Dr. Seuss's "Put Me in the Zoo" book during Judd Elementary School's Read Across America event on March 1. His mother, Gianna Hanna, is a first grade teacher at Judd.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF
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Jennifer, left to right, reads to three-year-old Jadon, second grader Caleb and kindergartener Ethan during Judd Elementary School's Read Across America event on March 1.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF
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Tymirah Edwards of Girl Scout Troop 80392 in New Brunswick, right, paints a butterfly on the face of Judd Elementary School first grader Ellie Weiss during the school's Read Across America event on March 1.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF
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Pre-K student Benjamin Hanna completes a craft based on Dr. Seuss's "Put Me in the Zoo" book during Judd Elementary School's Read Across America event on March 1. His mother, Gianna Hanna, is a first grade teacher at Judd.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF
  2 / 3 
Jennifer, left to right, reads to three-year-old Jadon, second grader Caleb and kindergartener Ethan during Judd Elementary School's Read Across America event on March 1.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF
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Tymirah Edwards of Girl Scout Troop 80392 in New Brunswick, right, paints a butterfly on the face of Judd Elementary School first grader Ellie Weiss during the school's Read Across America event on March 1.JENNIFER AMATO/STAFF

NORTH BRUNSWICK – More than to simply celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Judd Elementary School’s observance of Read Across America was meant to foster a communal love of reading.

After a handful of mystery readers read books to families, children took part in a 10-minute Read-In, Dr. Seuss-themed crafts, literacy strategy activities and a book fair on March 1. Throughout the week, the school held Spirit Week including a pep rally in the beloved children’s book author’s honor

“The more we read, particularly on our own, the better test scores are, and the more reading they do at this age, the more likely they are to graduate,” Tracie Close of Judd’s Parent Teacher Organization said.

First grader Ellie Weiss loves to read Dr. Seuss and the “Elephant and Piggie” book series. Her favorites books are “Fox in Socks” and “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” because Seuss “makes his books rhyming and makes them funny.” She said she likes to read to her parents and grandparents.

“There’s a lot of fun stuff to do,” she said of the school’s RAA event.

Ellie said she likes to write her own books about little horses traveling around the world, or little ducks going for a walk.

“We can add lots of details and make it fun,” she said.

Ellie was also excited to spend time with her friend Justin Green, who shares in her love of “Elephant and Piggie” books as well as the stories of author Mo Willems.

“It’s funny,” he said. “I learn words.”

Justin is the son of Genevieve Green, a kindergarten teacher at Judd for the past six years.

“You definitely see an excitement for reading,” she said of children at a young age.

She said she reads with her class multiple times a day so they stay engaged.

“It’s one of those times they sit down and pay attention. I try to make them part of the story and they ask questions along the way and get involved,” she said. “Eyes on text is such an important skill for reading. The physical action of holding a book and finding a place to sit and turn pages instead of clicking has value.”

After ice cream was served by members of the North Brunswick Township Education Association, Principal Joseph Schmidt said, “We’ve had a great, great week. We not only get to share in the joy of reading with students, but also with their families. We look forward to this event every year.”

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.