The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cleveland State’s Library and is sponsored by the Early Childhood Education program and the Library. The celebration is organized by students in the language and literacy development class.
“Since this is our 10th year, we wanted to do some special things,” stated Suzanne Wood, CSCC associate professor and coordinator of Early Childhood Education.
“We are going to be working with The Caring Place this year. We are asking children and their families to bring in newly packaged socks, underwear, or pajamas for children. There will be barrels available where they can place these items.”
This year’s event will honor Seuss’ “The Sleep Book,” so everyone is invited to wear their pajamas to the event and enjoy some literacy activities.
Wood said she has had an overwhelming response from her students in preparing for this year’s event.
“This year, because it is ‘The Sleep Book,’ we will be holding a drawing for a twin bed. We have a student whose husband is making the headboard. One student is donating the lumber, and another student’s cousin is donating the mattresses.”
Wood went on to state that the bed will be equipped with sheets, a comforter, and a pillow in a Dr. Seuss theme.
As with previous events, special guests will include Dr. Seuss’s most well-known characters, the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two and the Grinch. Both children and adults are familiar with the uncontrollable and entertaining Cat from Dr. Seuss’s book, “The Cat in the Hat.”
The Cat is accompanied by the twin mischief-makers, Thing One and Thing Two, and together they bounce from one catastrophic, fun-making adventure to another. The Grinch, the title character from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” is a cynical cave dweller who has a sudden change of heart when he realizes the real meaning of Christmas.
Dr. Seuss’ birthday party is free to children of all ages; however, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Each child will receive a goody bag and may participate in literacy-related activities assisted by students in Cleveland State’s language and literacy development class.
According to Wood, the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland has generously given money to purchase books for the event, and members of the Kiwanis club will be there to give a free hardback Dr. Seuss book to every child who attends.
New to the event this year will be Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a nonprofit organization that promotes early childhood literacy by giving free, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5 around the country.
Literacy-related activities will be set up both inside and outside the library, and the young participants will be entertained with readings of Dr. Seuss’s stories, including some readings in Spanish and German.
Other activities will include face painting, hat making and music and movement. Refreshments and door prizes will also be a part of the celebration.
The Early Childhood Education Program at Cleveland State began in 1999 out of an initiative from the Tennessee Board of Regents requiring that all community colleges in the state have an early childhood program. Students may receive a Child Development Associate designation by completing a four-course option and related credentialing procedures, or may pursue an associate of applied science degree by completing the two-year, 60-credit-hour program.
Cleveland State also has transfer agreements with many area colleges that allow students to transfer and complete their degree to teach pre-K through third grade.
Those interested in more information about the “Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!” event or the Early Childhood Education Program should contact Suzanne Wood, program coordinator, at 472-7141, ext. 282.