When the Hernando Classroom Reading Association offered a Dr. Seuss birthday celebration at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, more than 1,500 students attended over two days.
The event was held to "promote reading and literacy," said Westside Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Linda Rothenberg, the event coordinator. All children from the county's public elementary schools were provided with tickets to the park.
The group also sponsored a reading contest. Classrooms were invited to re-create Dr. Seuss stories on poster boards. The students were asked to identify the stories' main ideas and supporting ideas, express their opinions about the stories and tell why the stories were their favorites.
"We had the Lorax there," Rothenberg said, as well as the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2. "Publix donated huge cakes for us."
Westside Elementary students walked away with four first-place wins, which entitled them to mermaid reading visits at school.
Mermaids recently visited Westside and read to Jessica Vitale's first-grade class, Christine Ferro's second-grade class, Donna Urban's third-grade class and Rothenberg's fifth-grade class.