FAIRFIELD — What better way to put smiles on the faces of dozens of children, not to mention a host of school board trustees, representatives of the U.S. Air Force and two mayors, than reading to the kids?
It was all part of a Read Across America event organized by the Fairfield-Suisun Teachers Association in front of Sports Authority at the Solano Town Center mall.
The event was part of the celebration of the 16th annual Read Across America Day, which coincides with the March 2 birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price and Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez – both wearing red-and-white-striped Seussian hats – were the first to read to groups of attentive children.
Sanchez read “Ms. Blanche, the Spotless Cow” to about 15 children who sat on a rug or in child-sized comfy chairs.
“You get to pick a book and I figured if I chose this colorful one and show them what it’s about, at least they’ll understand,” Sanchez said. “It’s a great thing for the children to see their mayors taking some time to read to them.”
Fairfield-Suisun School Board President David Isom got plenty animated while reading “Officer Buckle and Gloria,” jumping out of his seat and making hand gestures as he read.
“Kids bring out the kid in me and that’s why I do what I do. It’s just so fun watching the kids get excited about learning,” Isom said. “They’re learning how to read. They’re learning how to look at pictures and how to put things together.”
After the stories, children were also able to sit at tables and color and work on other crafts.
Parent Mark Arduo of Fairfield was at the event with his wife and 4-year-old daughter Czy.
“I think it’s cool because she likes doing this stuff,” Arduo said. “(Reading) is pretty good rather than them getting into other things. It’s better to have them exposed to reading, exercise their minds a little better.”
Devika Singh brought daughter Geona and friend Phoenix Nelson, both 7, to the reading event.
“I figured I’d bring the kids after school. It looks like fun,” Singh said, adding that getting children interested in reading early is crucial. “Very important. It’s very important to get them to read, and I think they read more if they’re in a group than by themselves.”
She also said she’d like to see more similar events.
“This is fun. I think they should do more like this for the kids,” Singh said.
As for the youngsters, Geona and Phoenix both said they enjoyed coloring the most.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.