Today, I will read to students and I will donate children's books to my local café. I challenge you, dear readers, to do something similar, in the name of Dr. Seuss,to challenge our children to discover the joy of reading.
A Poem for Parents
to the beat of Green Eggs and Ham
Time for bed now, time to sleep,
I do not want to hear a peep.
Brush your teeth and go to bed,
Turn out the light, lay down your head.
You forgot to read to me!
You have to read a good story.
Here’s your reader from your school,
Ten minutes a day is the rule.
No, Daddy, you read to me!
To read to me is your duty.
Well, okay, just one story,
One little book, now let us see…
Here is How to Be a Good Sport:
This book is easy and it’s short.
No, I want Green Eggs and Ham,
The one about the boy named Sam.
I like that book so much, you see,
It is my favorite story.
No, no, please, not that one!
We’ve read it so much, now I’m done!
Yes, because I like it so,
Now come on, try it, have a go.
You can read it fast or slow,
I’ll like it either way, you know.
Read it with a funny voice,
Or read it loud, it is your choice.
Read it to me now, I plead,
Get out Green Eggs and start to read.
Listen to me now, my child,
I’ll read about the things so wild,
Goodnight Moon, I’ll even read,
That is a sacrifice, indeed.
Knufflebunny, Little Bear,
Perhaps The Tortoise and the Hare.
No, Green Eggs and Ham is all
I want, so do not stall.
No, I will not read that book,
Now you must let me off the hook.
I will read it by myself,
Just go and get if off the shelf.
Yes, now you can read, it’s true,
I do not have to read to you.
Every night I’ll let you sit
And read your own story a bit.
While I sit and watch TV
And sip upon a nice iced tea.
No, you must sill read to me,
I like to listen too, you see.
If Green Eggs is not your choice,
Then I will find another voice.
To the library I’ll go
To find a book you’ll love, I know.
Do you like to read by chance
About the Captain Underpants?
We could read a Goosebumps book;
They’re full of terror, gore and gook!
No, I don’t like any of those
That you have just proposed.
I will tell you, child of mind,
I’ll go to the attic to find
My box of books I loved back when
I was a child of six to ten.
Full of books I liked the best,
Of dragons and brave knights on a quest.
Of the spider who did spin
A web so her pig friend could win.
Stone Fox who gave up the race
So Will and his dog could win first place,
Children who lived all alone
In a caboose they called home,
Robin Hood, who was so brave
But also somewhat of a knave.
Now that’s a good idea, Dad.
Find a book that makes us glad.
Choose one that we both enjoy,
Maybe about a dog and a boy?
But now please turn out the light,
I think I’ll forego the book tonight.
A Poem for Teachers in Empathy
(though I think, I hope,that things have gotten better)
Twas the week before vacation
The children thought with glee
Of the coming week of fun,
Of music, art, and poetry.
The spelling test was done, the sight words learned,
The theme for the week was done.
So the children to the teacher turned
And said, “Please, may we have some fun?”
“We’ve studied hard, we’ve paid attention,
We’ve behaved and all done our best,
No one has served detention.
Isn’t it time we’ve earned a rest?”
Their teacher turned to them to say
I know a way to work and play,
To learn while you have fun,
And still get all our work done.
This week we’ll read and sing about Spring
And study animals on wing.
We’ll make our own egg dyes
And then observe our butterflies.
“The standards we will meet
As we enjoy this little treat
And you will learn every day
Even as you play.”
But when the Hootin’ Nifflin of this got word
He couldn’t believe what he had heard.
“It isn’t right,” he said with a smirk,
“To enjoy themselves while they work.”
“Why, tisn’t the American way to do thus;
All work and no play is good for us.
School should be tests and drill,
I’ll stop this nonsense, I will!”
He sent an email to his minions true
To tell them what to do.
“Send the principals a decree
That teachers must with fidelity
Follow the text line by line
Every day starting at nine.
And no matter what their students need,
The manual they must heed.”
“And to make sure that they do,” he said,
“I’ll send my minions ahead
To observe in every classroom there
That they all fun do forswear.”
The principals quaked in their shoes and grew cold
And the teachers did as they were told.
So the next week, instead of fun
The students were told each and every one
To study some more and read once again
The story of the short e hen.
The teachers put away their holiday books (picture books)
While their students gave them sad looks.
They had no time to sing, to paint, to bake
Nor presents for their family to make. (or crazy contraptions to make)
And the children did as they were told
But inside their hearts grew cold,
And the last day they hung their head
As they came to school with dread
They didn’t even want to eat
Their late afternoon holiday treat.
And when school was out, they said “Hurray!”
“Now begins our holiday.
“For a week we don’t have to read or write;
Those things belong to school all right.”
Home is for play, school is for work,
And reading and writing we will shirk
For they are no fun for us anymore;
School is such a bore!”
Far away in textbook land,
The Hootin’ Nifflin said, “My plan
“Has worked so well, you see.”
And he smirked with glee.
“No more shall children want to learn,
And so we now can turn
Their heads wherever we will
Just by giving them more drill.”
“And each and every day
They will learn what we send their way
And will do whatever we say.
For that is the American way.”
Now is this, sad though it be
The end of our Niflin story?
Need it be so, must it be thus
Or is it maybe up to us?
Will a teacher one day
Stand up to say
“I am the one who knows
How a child learns and grows.”
“I am the one who knows best
How to teach and what to test.
How a child learns through play
And how to vary each day.”
“How to make children want to learn
So to books and learning they will turn
Not only when we say
But forever more as they go on their way?”
Will we teachers ever stand up and say
It is we who will lead the way?