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Jon James Shares His Love of Reading and Seuss on Read Across America Day, Friday in Randolph

Jon reads Seuss
Photo by Donna Strickler

NOTHING makes me happier than the innocence of children, their honest interpretation of the world around them (and the people in it), their willingness to learn new things and eagerness to share what they know. Suddenly, I want to be a school teacher of pre-K through second grade. It’s kind of ironic that, in my career field, I often act the age of those I want to teach. They’d be more my peers than my students. But, I digress.

Read Across America Day (aka Dr. Seuss Day) actually was on Saturday, but was celebrated on Friday in schools. I was invited by Sue Shepherd to come into my old school, T.C. Hamlin (where I attended grades K -3), and read to the kids. It’s an invitation I will never pass up if I can help it. It’s the one thing in life I can go into with high expectations and am never disappointed. I love children and I love Seuss.

The first group (the youngest) were just cute and fun. I read “A Cow Can Moo, Can You?” Throughout, the kids and I were interacting, making animal noises and sharing ideas. A very attentive bunch!

The next group was a bit older and I read a book I’d never even heard of called “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!,” a book that Seuss started but never finished. It was completed by authors Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith in true Dr. Seuss style. There was actually some verbiage in there that seemed almost aimed at adults. In fact, at one point, I had to stop and look up to see if the adults were reacting. It seemed like maybe they heard it the same way I did. Anyway, the prose is excellent and it has the most wonderful cadence. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Finally, the last and oldest group got the classic, Horton Hears a Who. Another one of my favorites!

I have to give special thanks to my friend Donna Strickler who was there and has three grandchildren in the school. She was with me for the whole three-book tour as she had a grandchild in each group. She got some great pictures, a couple of which I’ve shared here.

Finally, thank you for inviting me back to my old school, Mrs. Shepherd. I’ve nothing but fond memories of my days there where I learned the love of reading from Miss Jones (who recently retired) and the late Mrs. Howe and Mrs. Hersom.

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