MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia College students, community volunteers and various organization representatives are donating their time to help promote literacy and the love of reading within the lives of Baldwin County youth as part of National Read Across America Day in conjunction to Dr. Seuss’ 109th birthday celebration.
Members of the Georgia College Enactus, a entrepreneur group on campus, will host a family-fun day at the Oconee River Greenway Saturday in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday March 2. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Dr. Seuss costume parade at 10 a.m. for an entry fee of $2. A firetruck will also be on site with local firemen providing tips on fire safety.
“We will judge the costumes depending on various ages represented, and we will have an award ceremony around 10:45 a.m. for the winners of the parade and recognize volunteers who helped in schools through Read Across America. For the older individuals, prizes include gift certificates and discount coupons to a variety of downtown merchants,” said Dr. Renee Fontenot, faculty advisor of Enactus, “We will also have a carnival for $1 per event, including a fishing pond, relay contest and throw the ring game. There will be prizes for kids who win.”
Proceeds from the event will support the ASPIRE (A Student Parent Initiative Revitalizing Education) program, a family education initiative of Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County (CISMBC) to eradicate illiteracy, unemployment and poverty in the community through early childhood education, adult education, parenting education and intergenerational literacy activities.
“[Early Learning Center CISMBC Site Coordinator] Cathy Benton approached me and said that we have a real need and asked if we could help out. We saw this event as a good fit given that we wanted to have a school-based literacy program to give back to,” Fontenot said. “We have a dedicated group of 10 students in Enactus. We want to be able to buy uniforms for students that need to go to kindergarten, school supplies and other specific needs that aren’t being met. We welcome anybody to come out to the Greenway and take part in the celebration, and we want parents and teens to dress up as their favorite characters.”
Volunteers will read Dr. Seuss stories to students at preschools, daycare’s, elementary schools and on the university campus throughout the school day Friday to commemorate the legacy of the famous poet, writer and cartoonist. Participating schools include Childcare Network, Little Caterpillars Development Center, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Day School, Blandy Hills Elementary, Creekside Elementary, Midway Elementary and Eagle Ridge Elementary.
Mary Vinson Memorial Library will entertain pre-K children of Little Caterpillars and St. Stephen’s with a puppet show, story time and literacy activities at 9 and 10 a.m. Friday at the Georgia College library.
“It started out as a GIVE Center event through a grant a few years ago. It sort of tethered out and last year, a couple of ladies from Georgia College library decided to take it on and it got new life breathed into it,” Georgia College E-Learning Librarian Liz Thompson said of the campus Dr. Seuss event. “The purpose of the annual event is to promote the love of learning and to really get children to enjoy learning as soon as possible. It also brings the community together.”
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