In honor of Read Across America Day Arlington elementary schools have been spending time emphasizing reading.
Read Across America Day was named in honor of Dr. Seuss and is observed on his birthday, March 2.
At Arlington’s Presidents Elementary on March 1 students spent half of the day reading in honor of the day.
“All week we’ve had different dress-up days for Seuss Days,” said Carol Rahkonen, librarian at the school.
“Today is the big culminating day where we just come in and read for about two and a half hours,” she said.
Students were able to pick a book and read in the gym during the school day.
“I think they like the extended period of reading, they like wearing and the pajamas and they like being able to spread out on the floor and reading with friends,” said Rahkonen.
“It’s really the opportunity to have a good reading time in school,” she said.
Presidents Elementary students said they enjoyed the day.
“It’s my first time at reading day because I’m in third grade and I was really excited this morning,” said student Katrina Griffin, who was reading Judy Blume during the day.
“It’s fun because we get to learn about how to read and we build up our stamina,” said student Zoie Lofstedt.
Other students also enjoyed the chance to relax.
“I like how we all get to lay down and read for a long time. We get to finish the books and that is fun,” said student Jacob Todd.
Rahkonen said that simple reading time is something that schools don’t have a lot of time for these days.
“In today’s world they’re so busy learning academics that this silent reading time is hardly ever able to be done in the classroom, so they treasure this day,” she said.
Presidents Elementary has held the reading day for four years now.
“This is just to encourage the love of reading and get them excited about it,” said Rahkonen. “Without reading skills it’s very difficult to do anything in this world."
Other schools in the district had reading nights or other events during the week and the food service staff at some schools made some of the food green.
“All of our elementary schools are doing something,” said Gary Sabol, director of communications at the Arlington School District.
“Reading is a big focus for our schools so we’re really just emphasizing that this week,” he said.