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Henrietta J. Burroughs            Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Monday, March 4, 2013         
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Sid Espinosa reads to children on Read Across America Day
                                        Courtesy of Microsoft
Sid Espinosa reads to first grade students at the
Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto, CA

March 1 marked the fifteenth anniversary of Read Across America Day. This annual celebration honors the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the well known children’s book author, and the day is dedicated to nation-wide activities to promote reading, especially for children and young adults.

This year, as in past years, schools, libraries and other community organizations brought people together to participate in reading books. So, from Maine to California, from Washington State to Florida, thousands of activities were held to celebrate the day.

Locally, community leaders were asked to dedicate an hour to read to a classroom of students. Sid Espinosa, the former mayor of Palo Alto and the director of corporate citizenship at Microsoft, was one of those who answered the call.

Espinosa read Cat in the Hat, one of his favorite Dr. Seuss books, to a group of first grade students at the Brentwood Academy, an elementary school in East Palo Alto. The kids seemed enthralled by what they heard.

Espinosa’s own love of books came naturally. His mother was an educator and his sister, Tami Espinosa, is the principal of the Brentwood elementary school, where he read.

In commenting on the day and his experience, Espinosa said,  “What I love about Read Across America Day is that community leaders and heroes show young students by example that reading is fun and important. By being present, adults in the community are in turn showing the kids that they’re important, too.”

Read Across America Day was started by the National Education Association (NEA), a national employee’s organization committed to advancing the cause of public eduation in 1998. While the birthday of Dr. Seuss, a pen-name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, is actually on March 2, 1904, Read Across America Day is celebrated on the school day that is closest to his birthday, which fell on March 1 this year.

Dr, Seuss gained prominence for such books as: Green Eggs and Ham (1960, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), Horton Hears a Who! (1970), The Cat in the Hat (1971) and The Lorax (1972).

Nationally, more than 45 million people celebrated Seuss and Read Across America Day, which was designed to highlight the importance of developing a love for reading at an early age.


Henrietta J. Burroughs, the author of this article, can be contacted by email at epatoday@epatoday.org.