This year at Rodriguez, we celebrated Read Across America by throwing a birthday party for Dr. Seuss. Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for children to celebrate reading on March 2, which also happens to be the birthday of Dr. Seuss! Sara Palmer, the Children’s Librarian at Rodriguez, told me that RGR had celebrated with a party last year and suggested that we host a party and a reading of some of Dr. Seuss’s stories in order to celebrate.
The day of the party, Jane (one of LEAP’s ASLs) and I began by decorating and setting up the basement before the makers arrived. At 3:10pm, about 10 makers arrived and we proceeded to have a reading in the Children’s Section of the library. Sara read two stories by Dr. Seuss, “What Was I Scared Of?” followed by “The Strange Shirt Spot.” Afterwards, we took the kids downstairs to the basement and got the party started with our Pin the Tail on the Creature activity, with prizes and all, and our Spaghetti and Marshmallow Letters activity. We played some age-appropriate hip-hop radio in the background and other attendants made some Green Eggs and Ham Glasses out of paper, pipe cleaners and markers.
Pin the Tail on the Creature is a game a lot like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only I painted an animal Dr. Seuss-style, a mash-up of a dog, unicorn, sheep, and ox. Kids loved playing this game at the party and even after the prizes were given out, some people wanted to continue playing!
The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Letters is a project that we actually orchestrated at the Read by 4th Event a week or two earlier than this party. Samira and I took the extra supplies from the event and brought them to RGR. Instead of constructing letters like the examples we had made, the participants ended up creating structures like buildings and ferris wheels out of the spaghetti and marshmallows.
Our last activity, Green Eggs and Ham Glasses, was a project where kids used pipe cleaners to create a pair of glasses. The end goal was for them to create a pair of green eggs out of paper to tape to the front of the glasses, but many of the kids had fun making the wacky pipe cleaner glasses, whether or not they had eggs on them.
Throughout the day, 21 kids came in total. Along with the activities, music, and prizes of chocolate bars, we had cookies, popcorn, chips, and pizza. I would say that this party was a huge success, and that this collaboration between LEAP and Maker Jawn worked because we promoted literacy through the story reading and celebrated the wackiness of a great author with fun and creative activities, which aligns with both Maker Jawn’s and LEAP’s mission statements. Both LEAP and Maker programming was suspended in order to host this party, and our staff worked together to facilitate this special event.