LIMA — "The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day."
The first words of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat could apply to Friday's weather in Lima. However, more than 100 preschool children were happy and excited at Trinity Center of Creative Child Care when local professionals came in to read to them, celebrating Read Across America day.
Standing in front of a preschool class of 3- and 4-year-olds, with children wearing paper cutouts of Cat in the Hat top hats, Lima Fire Prevention Officer Chris Jackson introduced himself before reading them the very popular Dr. Seuss book.
“We put out fires, and we go on emergencies,” he told the class. “And guess what else we do?”
“What?” the children asked, who were from Susan Calvelage’s and Becky Thompson’s classes.
“We read books. We like to read,” he said, putting emphasis on the word "read."
The children listened as he read to them, putting a lot of inflection throughout the story, at times making them laugh and jump in their seats. For Trinity Daycare Director Christina Vorhes, the experience is great for the children in a variety of ways.
“It’s fun for the kids because it’s something different,” she said. “But it also teaches them the importance of reading.”
Vorhes said children got to enjoy festive cupcakes following reading time. They were white with red icing, just like the cutouts of many of the Dr. Seuss top hats. She said she hopes the celebration will be even more elaborate next year, making it a weeklong event instead of a day.
Lima Mayor David Berger, Lima School Board member C. Ann Miles, DJ Old Skool, and Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin were among others who came into downtown classrooms to read at Trinity Daycare.
Miles read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie to toddlers who were 12 months to 2-and-a-half years old, from Tina Moritz’s and Stacie Mullins’ classes. The children enjoyed her company, playing and laughing with her.
“I’ve done it before. I enjoy it. I enjoy the kids,” Miles said.
The Lima Education Foundation also participated in Read Across America day, with members distributing books Friday afternoonto newborn babies at St. Rita’s Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System.