Great day for up, to hop on pop or play with Thing One
“Up whales! Up, snails! Up, rooster! Hen! Up, girls and women! Boys and men! Great day for up feet! Lefts and rights! And up! Up! Baseballs! Footballs! Kites! Great day to sing up on a wire! Up! Up voices! Louder! Higher!”
-- "Great day for Up," Dr. Seuss
On Friday, KMOX co-host Debbie Monterrey will open the crisp, new pages of a very old book she probably knows by heart.
“The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day,” begins the Dr. Seuss classic, “The Cat in the Hat.”
Monterrey grew up reading the book, and she remembers the day her daughter, then 5, sat and read it all by herself.
On Friday, Monterrey will sit with students at Mann Elementary School and relive the madness that hatted cat first caused some 55 years ago.
She joins other well-known reading ambassadors from around St. Louis, including Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson and many local business leaders, to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss on March 2 with a reading of “The Cat in the Hat,” at 47 schools in the St. Louis Public Schools district.
The event was created in partnership with GO! St. Louis’ Read, Right and Run Marathon, says Nancy Lieberman, president of GO!
The marathon, in its eleventh year, aims to combat obesity, build character and literacy with the challenge of reading 26 books, doing 26 good deeds in the community and running 26 separate miles.
Now, Lieberman says, SLPS doesn’t just use the program as enrichment, but as part of its core curriculum with all students participating.
Currently, Lieberman says, 253 schools take part in the Read, Right and Run Marathon. The event culminates on April 14 with the GO! St. Louis Marathon and Family Fitness weekend.
This year’s Seuss event is the first of its kind for GO! and the school district, and it marks the birthday of the beloved children's’ author, who passed away in 1991.
“Cat in the Hat” was written in 1957.
But his work transcends generations, says Monterrey. Maybe it’s the art, or how the stories can connect with people across so many generations and life stages.
“They’re just timeless,” she says.
To her, the true value of the day comes in showing kids how much fun reading really is. The ambassadors of reading are all successful adults who couldn’t be successful without it, she says. And she hopes the day will get the kids present excited about reading.
“If you can’t get kids with Dr. Seuss, I’m not sure what you can get them with,” she says.
And while Monterrey may know every word of “The Cat in the Hat” by now, she’s still excited to share it with a new group of readers.
“I think I read that book every single night to my son,” she says. “So I’m kind of looking forward to reading to a new audience.”
Note: Earlier, Dr. Seuss' name was misspelled in one place.