Coast Guard Academy cadet-athletes kicked off the National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America Day which brings to light Dr. Seuss's birthday and literacy by reading at a pair of local elementary schools. Read Across America Day is Saturday, March 2nd, so members of the football, men's and women's basketball and the softball teams took the time to visit a pair of local schools on Friday.
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In the morning, Pat Meggers, a member of the football team, Greg Marshall captain of the men's basketball team and Kaitlin Ward, who plays both basketball and softball at the Academy, read to third and fifth graders at Mohegan Elementary School in Uncasville.
In the afternoon, Summer Dupler, Sammy Yuknat and Stacia Sarwinski members of the softball team and Dani Knox, Victoria Gurtler and Brittney Zimmerman, members of the women's basketball team, read to first and second graders at West Vine Street School in Pawcatuck.
Each group read to the children and then answered questions about the Coast Guard, its Academy and athletics in general. The children were very excited to interact with the cadets and learn more about the Coast Guard, its mission and to get to know their special guest readers.
A program of the NEA, now in its 11th year, NEA's Read Across America Day is celebrated annually on Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2nd and it generates enthusiasm for reading nationwide and focuses the country's attention on how important it is to motivate children to read. It's all a way of saying both happy birthday and thank you" to Theodor Seuss Geisel, the children's writer better known as Dr. Seuss.
Geisel wrote more than 40 books in his life, many under the pseudonym of Dr. Seuss (he adopted the pen name "Seuss" while still in college and added the "Dr." later in life).
Reading opens the doors to achievement, and Read Across America Day celebration, whether large or small, is a crucial building block toward making the joys of reading an integral part of every child' s life and the Coast Guard Academy student-athletes were happy to be a part of the festivities at both Mohegan Elementary and West Vine Street School.
"This is an outstanding partnership we have with local schools
in the community," said Jason Southard, Director of Athletic Media
Relations at the Coast Guard Academy. "The visits were beneficial
to both our athletes as well as the elementary school children, who
enjoyed the stories and learning more about the individual
athletes, the Coast Guard and our Academy. It was a fun day for all
Coast Guard has supported programs at all levels of education in order to enhance educational opportunities for students while working to enforce traditional values, personal initiative, responsibility and individual self worth.