HOULTON, Maine — Students at Houlton Elementary School and Houlton Southside School enjoyed a day of Dr. Seuss and the many books he had written as part of Dr. Seuss Day on Friday, March 2.
Several classrooms enjoyed either guest readers or activities incorporating some of the wild experiences of the imagination of Theo LeSieg, his pen name used for some of his 60 children’s books.
Born in Massachusetts in the early 1900s, Theodor Seuss Geisel became a celebrated author, poet, animator, publisher and political cartoonist during his career spanning into the 90s.
Sierra Rhoda, a senior at Houlton Middle-High School, reprised her role from last fall’s musical production of “Seussical: the Musical,” by donning her “Cat in the Hat” costume from the play.
“The kids freaked out when I walked in the room and immediately ran over and gave me the biggest hugs,” Rhoda said. “They responded in the best way and the day was full of joy. I absolutely loved it. Seeing their expressions change when I walked through the door was the best part.”
Rhoda added that what made the event all the more special is that the students had no idea she was coming in character.
“They went to school as a regular day not knowing that they would be seeing the ‘Cat in Hat’ in person. How cool is that?” she said. “I read the ‘Cat in the Hat’ story to them and they read with me exuberantly. The ‘Cat in the Hat’ came to life for them instead of just seeing it on the stage.”
Reading to the students in character also had a profound effect on the senior.
“Last Friday was a day that I will always remember and cherish,” she said. Rhoda added that the day with the youngsters made her want to focus on education in college.
“I have always worked with children in afterschool programs, Sunday school, summer camps, and vacation Bible school and have loved every second. Visiting the Elementary and Southside just completely sold it for me.”
Freelance writer Karen Donato contributed to this article