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Students and seniors celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday together

Monday would have been Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday, and students across the nation celebrated Read Across America day by setting time aside to read.

Roughly 60 Woodleaf Elementary second graders took it one step further and shared their love of reading and Dr. Seuss with residents of Oak Park Retirement Center in Salisbury.

The students put on a performance for the residents, reciting rhyming lines from their favorite Dr. Seuss books, including “Cat in the Hat,” “Oh, the Places You Will Go” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

The residents took the opportunity to give back to the students as well.

After they finished the play, resident Mary Hurt, a former schoolteacher, read “Oh the Places You Will Go” to the students, and another resident recited a poem. Another resident played the piano as they sang “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Seuss.

“It was Dr. Seuss’ birthday,” said Kate Gregory, a Woodleaf second grader. “We thought it would be nice to show the people who are retired a little play.”

“I thought it was pretty cool,” said her classmate Michael Clayton, adding that it’s not every day that they get to visit a retirement home.

Not only did the outing emphasize the importance of reading, but according to teacher Charlie Pernell, it stressed community service.

“We love doing the intergenerational programming,” said Oak Park Activities Director Karen Leonard.

She added that the residents plan to continue the relationship by sending cookies to the students and being pen pals.

“There’s a lot they can share with each other,” Leonard said.

“They really do touch their hearts,” she said. “They bring a lot of joy to our residents.”

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