HOHENFELS, Germany — Thirty-eight community members from the Joint Multinational Readiness Center took part in the annual celebration known as Read Across America Day by reading one or more of their favorite children’s books to Hohenfels Elementary School students, here, March 1.
This year was different. Author Hunter D. Darden from South Carolina joined the event via a teleconference to read her book, “Gorgeous Georgia: A Story of Inner Beauty,” to the children.
Read Across America Day is celebrated each year around March 2, the birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. The National Education Association created it in 1998.
The celebration began with the children reciting the Readers’ Oath, which encourages children to keep reading.
This year, the Hohenfels Elementary book selection focused on world literature, celebrating stories about people from a wide range of cultures, ethnicities and life experiences. In doing so, a grant was obtained by the Hohenfels Education Association from the NEA and the Federal Education Association to purchase new, diverse titles for the school’s Information Center.
“I think that reading to younger kids is important because as a child I was read to quite a bit,” said Lisa Zimmermann, librarian at the Hohenfels Elementary School. “And I’ve always found children who are read to a lot will tend to read more as an adult. I feel that is important to build their vocabulary and for growing young children’s minds.”
Soldiers from all demographics and all ranks ranging from private to colonel, as well as spouses participated in the reading event.
“I think the children really enjoy having Soldiers, community members come in and read, which gives them a break from the daily routine,” said Zimmermann. “Also that they understand that diversity is critical in our country.”