Community leaders celebrate ‘Read Across America’

Lancaster Councilwoman Sandra Johnson reads "Daisy the Firefighter" to a fourth grade class at West Wind Elementary School Friday during Read Across America day.

LANCASTER – Over 20 members of the community read to the children of West Wind Elementary Friday in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and National Read Across America Day.

“I like the opportunity to hear people from a variety of professions,” said Janine Simi, a teacher at West Wind Elementary, “(who) not only read to them, but discuss why reading is important and have a different voice besides a parent or a teacher say reading is important in your life.”

The readers included a judge who used to be a rocket scientist, firefighters, and representatives from insurance and real estate companies, the parks and recreations department, and the district office.

Captain Kay Harter, an airline pilot with United Airlines, said she brought a book about flying to show the students a non-traditional career for a woman.

Lancaster City Councilwoman Sandra Johnson read “Daisy the Firefighter” to a fourth grade class.

Students of West Wind Elementary ask Johnson questions about her life and her dreams.

“I chose the book because our friend (Viki Woodworth) had written it and it was her dream to be able to publish a book and her dream came true,” Johnson said. “And I thought that would be a great example to give to the children to reach for their dreams, and they can be anything they want to be.”

Johnson told the class that she was able to reach her dream of being a university owner and a councilwoman.

The students shared their goals for the future, as well.

The students said they want to be an environmentalist, a marine biologist, an interior designer, an artist, a doctor, a football player, a veterinarian, a teacher and a famous singer.

Johnson said she was impressed with the students’ dreams, saying it is an example of their teachers and parents.

“I think that today is important because it showed our students and the community involved that all of these leaders and heroes are definitely an example for the children and giving them the awareness that reading is the key and education is the key to their success,” Johnson said.

The theme for this year’s “Read Across America” is going green, but Simi said she didn’t focus too much on it. Although, Simi said the school principal, Linda Edmond, did bring the staff green eggs and ham for breakfast in the morning.

Simi said the Dr. Seuss books are hard to read because they’re such tongue twisters but thinks the idea is great.

“The kids love them,” Simi said. “It gets them into reading and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Since 1998, Read Across America Day has been celebrated every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

  4 comments for “Community leaders celebrate ‘Read Across America’

  1. Abdul Majeed Askia
    March 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I believe ‘ Read across America ‘ is an excellent idea ! Knowledge opens up
    a whole new world and is certainly the key to success !I have a passion for reading, I read just about anything I can get my hands on. A mentor once gave me the opportunity to open up an event at a community function.I
    asked my mentor what should I talk about ? I was told ” talk about what
    you know and not about what you don’t know and you won’t get in any trouble!” That has stuck with me my entire life !I have made it a practice
    to not only think about what I am going to say but to also have a command
    about what i am going to say by having knowledge of the subject matter.
    Unfortunately many people talk about situations,beliefs and subject matters
    they have no knowledge of. I have had people attempt to tell me what it
    is I believe and yet when I attempt to correct them they are not receptive
    because they heard such and such and did not really have first hand information! Reading can never be over emphasisized !When I don’t know something I reserve my comments until I can find out otherwise!Guessing,
    assuming,conjecture and yet speaking with conviction does the person and
    the subject matter an injustice!Any and everything we want to know about is in a book, history,science,religion,psychology et cetera can be acquired
    in a bokk via reading !I love to read so much I find myself carrying books with we every where I go, always eager to learn.

    At an early age I wanted to know why people behaved in a certain way and
    like Einstein I have split the atom !Observation,trial and error and reading has opened up a whole new world of understanding. My desire is to
    have a national debate on addressing crime. What is the problem, what is
    the cause of the problem and what is the solution ! There is a method
    to the madness ! We are all connected. The typical approach is jails,
    prisons, hiring more law enforcers, jobs, et cetera. All of this is relevant but the heart of the matter is far more indebth. I plan to make
    it clear as the seeing with one’s eye the cause and effect of crime
    and violence. It is not hyphazard or random. Influences can be traced!

    Again, I have split the atom!We are having a round table discussion
    April 28th from 1:pm to 6:pm. Contact phone
    323-945-9589 and/or pastor Gerry Mitchel 661-212-5464 for location
    and details. This is not a sermon but discussion via community leaders,
    activist and others! Come and get the facts in a three part series.

    In the past when scientist split the atom or went against the current
    tide there was great opposition. As now the standard approach is fear,
    lock them up,build more jails and give longer sentences! There is a better
    way. This discussion will began to move us in that direction.

    Public speaker for several decades,writer and travler!Decades of publications in the Antelope Valley Press,Daily News, Los Angles
    Times,Progression Magazine,World News and International Conferences!
    This message and truth is universal and open to humanity!Don’t be
    side tracked by distractions,come and hear and read for yourself!
    You are invited.

  2. CKAY
    March 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    [Flagged for inflammatory content and removed]

    March 3, 2012 at 9:29 am

    [Flagged for inflammatory content and removed]

    • Stinger
      March 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      [Flagged for inflammatory content and removed]

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