Educational partners at the Houlton Higher Education Center are joining together on Tuesday, March 2 to present a “Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!” event for area preschoolers, elementary-age students and community members.
This year’s event – a collaboration between UMPI, the Houlton/Hodgdon SAD 29/70 Adult Education program, and NMCC – is being held throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The event is part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of Theodore Geisel, the beloved children’s author also known as Dr. Seuss.
“We have done Dr. Seuss events before, but we haven’t done it this way – on this big of a scale,” Jean Henderson, HHEC Counselor and Coordinator of Student Services, said.
HHEC partner Otis Smith, the director of the SAD 29/70 Adult Education program, ordered and is overseeing the distribution of books to all children who attended the event through the First Book program, which is managed in Aroostook County by the Aroostook Training and Education Coalition.
In addition to this, the HHEC lobby is being decorated for the birthday celebration, and organizers have cupcakes and juice, book giveaways and special door prizes – brand new Dr. Seuss books – to offer to participants.
Readers will be on hand to share books with children participating in the event. Readers taking part in the read-a-thon include UMPI First Year Seminar students Esha Stover, Jenna Merritt and Michelle Russell; UMPI Education Majors Erlene McEwen, Katie Henderson, Janet Vose, Sarah Cowett and Heidi Pratt; UMA student Julie Ritchie; and community member Carmel Bowers.
Children from the area Head Start program will be visiting the center during morning and afternoon sessions to take part in the festivities.