I have never been so excited to get an invitation.
Ms. Polk from Anniston’s new Cobb Preschool Academy was on the other end of the phone line. She was calling in regards to Read Across America, a national program held every March in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Would I like to come read a Dr. Seuss book to one of the preschool classes at Cobb?
Would I like to read a book?
Would I like to take a look?
My answer just a second took
My real job I gladly forsook
For the chance to read a book
In a preschool reading nook.
The halls of Cobb were a glorious sight when I walked in. Lines of kids in red-and-white striped hats snaked down the halls. Teachers were dressed like Thing One and Thing Two.
I was one of dozens of volunteer readers from all walks of the community: school board members, city council members, retirees, parents, grandparents, even Seattle Seahawk Troymaine Pope, whose daughter attends Cobb.
One of my fellow readers, Stanton Brown, decided to read the Dr. Seuss book "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?" As he flipped through the pages, he shook his head and said, "It was all Jane and John when I was in school."
Me, I picked "Fox in Socks," because I am a masochist.
For those unfamiliar with "Fox in Socks," it is 24 pages of increasingly difficult tongue-twisters, such as "Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew."
I was escorted to Ms. Hafley’s classroom, where I was confronted by an expectant gang of 3- and 4-year-olds.
Should I sit upon a chair?
Should I sit upon the floor?
Should I hold the book up there?
Would I leave them wanting more?
I decided to sit on the floor, criss-cross applesauce, and hold the book open facing the kids so they could see the pictures — which meant not only did I have to read words like "When tweetle beetles fight it’s called a tweetle beetle battle," I had to read them UPSIDE DOWN.
Afterwards, the kids told me about their pets. Several had dogs. Others had cats. One had a pet dinosaur. One boy told me he had a pet chicken. Not to be outdone, another boy told me he had a pet SPIDER!
I had so much fun I asked if I could go again. This time, I read "Hop on Pop" to Ms. Ireland’s class.
Afterwards, the teachers lined up the kids, who walked in very orderly fashion down the hall and through the gym.
"Y’all are doing such a good job! You look like you’re ready for kindergarten," said one of the teachers.
"I don’t want to go to kindergarten," replied one of the girls. "I want to stay here forever!"
Yeah, me too.
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.