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Seussentenial turns gooey for kindergartners

By Greg Gelpi

Floppy red and white-striped top hats, green-dyed eggs and countless rhyming words.

Schools throughout Clayton County and the country celebrated the Seussentenial, the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss, Tuesday.

"It was gooey and sticky," Berlandson St. Julien, 6, said of his oobleck. "It's still sticking on my teacher's hands."

St. Julien and his classmates at Callaway Elementary School participated in Seuss activities all day, including making oobleck, a substance mentioned in one of Seuss' books.

While adults voted on the Democratic presidential primary, his teacher Gina Sayler lead the students in voting on their favorite Seuss book.

"With those books, you can incorporate all areas of the curriculum," Sayler said.

By voting on their favorite books, the students learned math and graphs, she said.

St. Julien said his favorite book is Hooray for Diffendoofer because "it has so much funny stuff."

He wasn't concerned about what he was learning since he was too busy having fun eating green eggs and ham performing experiments to create oobleck.

Not only did students read Seuss, they tried to emulate his nonsensical rhyming style.

Nia Jefferson won Callaway's contest to write like Dr. Seuss with her vibrant poem about colorful worlds.

"But at last at once my room was shown

And what do you know, I'm in a world of my own," she wrote in her poem.

The 10-year-old said her favorite writer is Seuss, who inspired her to begin writing in first grade.

"Basically, I got into this because Dr. Seuss is my favorite," Jefferson said. "He uses his imagination like I do."

And her plans for the $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble? Jefferson said she will buy more Seuss books.

The National Education Association sponsors Read Across America. Representatives from the Clayton County Education Association visited Callaway and other schools and read to the children.

"Reading is important because it helps you build your vocabulary, making you smarter," Sid Chapman, president of the CCEA, told students.

James Robinson, a social studies teacher at Mundy's Mill High School, appeared dressed as the Cat in the Hat, to read at Callaway.