Reading is both fun and fundamental.
As P.S. 186, 7601 19th Avenue celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday, it held its annual VIP Readers Day.
On Thursday, March 2, several community leaders, such as police officers from the 62nd precinct, firefighters, entertainers and more, showed up throughout the day to read to several classes.
Kids greeted them with their own custom made silly hats in honor of the author’s most famous book, “The Cat in the Hat.”
“We are celebrating a really popular author and the kids have grown up reading various Dr. Seuss books so we remember a great author in good spirt,” said the school’s Principal Bayan Cadotte. “We turn it into a silly hat day because of ‘Cat in the Hat’ and aside from that it’s about bringing our community in so they could share their love of reading with our students.”
Community leaders enjoyed the experience.
“It’s awesome. I’ve done it for a couple of years,” said former 68th Precinct Community Council President Ilene Sacco. “Dr. Seuss books are fun to read and most of them have good morals. We talked about him and how he worked hard at what he did and that’s why he’s still famous after all these years. Sometimes when you stop and take a breath, kids seems to like it and anything that stresses reading is important. I’m an attorney and I told them how many books I had to read in my life. “
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done this before and I think something as simple as reading for kids in uniform will maybe impact somebody and make a little difference in the community,” said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Javier Rivera, “and it shows that the army is more than what you just see in the movies.”
Brooklyn Cyclone’s own King Henry was in attendance as well. “This is my third or fourth year here and I look forward to it,” he said. “It’s always fun for me because I’m a children’s entertainer and magician, so it’s in my wheelhouse to make the book fun and exciting.”
Youth officer at the 62nd precinct Jason Schiavone also stressed the importance of the day. “This means a lot because kids look up to us so when they see us come in to read to them, it’s great,” he said. “They had a lot of good questions and what we say to them matters because the best way to put it is they look up to us and they learn a lot from us. It’s a great thing.”
“It’s great because they look up to community helpers as role models,” added firefighter George Tabeek. “I did as a kid so when you have their attention and you can incorporate reading a book and throwing in a little fire safety, it’s inspirational.”
Kids were also thrilled with the day.
“I enjoyed that a police officer took time out of his day to come up and visit our school and come up to the fifth floor to read us a story to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday,” said student Nuka R.
“It was great because it’s a police officer reading to us and he came up with all his equipment,” added another child, Gunesh B.
Organizer and parent coordinator Elaine Delaney was happy with how the event went. “I’ve done this a while and I’ve organized this event since I was a [member of the Parent Teachers Association]. I love how different it is because it’s nice for kids to see adults enjoying reading and get to know your firefighters, local precincts and the army.”