The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon and students of Murray Elementary School celebrated Dr. Seuss Day and Read Across America Day over the week of Feb. 23-26. The Read Across America program promotes reading and honors the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Renn Lovett, sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., and vice president of communications for Sig Ep, coordinated the partnership with Robin Brown, a kindergarten teacher at Murray Elementary and Sig Ep alumnus.
Members of Sig Ep read with the children on the mornings of Feb. 23-25 for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each.
Then, Sig Ep members and Alpha Omicron Pi sisters invited Murray Elementary students and their parents to an evening reading session Feb. 26.
Children and the Murray State students read together, and the children’s parents were able to socialize in a separate room.
“The overall purpose of the event was to provide the children the pleasure of being read to in a fun and relaxing environment,” Lovett said. “We picked Dr. Seuss because he is an alumnus of Sig Ep – Dartmouth ’25.”
Sig Ep hosted a breakfast at Murray Elementary for the children and their parents Saturday morning as a culmination of the week of Dr. Seuss-themed activities.
“Seeing the kids smiling and laughing meant everything to us,” Lovett said. “We want them to enjoy reading and learning, just as we instill the exact same promotion for bettering our education as brothers of Sig Ep. The kids were outgoing and loved the involvement.”
Lovett described the week as a huge success; many Sig Ep members participated and there was a guest appearance by the Cat in the Hat, he said.
This is not the first time the fraternity has partnered with the elementary school. Brown coordinates an annual pumpkin carving night with his class and his old fraternity chapter, and in the fall, the fraternity helped renovate the school’s playground. The week of all things Dr. Seuss though, impacted not only the elementary students, but also the University students in a positive way.
Stephen Carman, senior from Cape Girardeau, Mo., said he was confident the readings made a difference and that he was glad to help the children get excited about reading.
“The amount of joy that a Dr. Seuss book can bring to a child’s face is really an amazing sight, and hopefully we were able to make reading fun and help the kids start a lifelong love for reading,” Carman said. “It’s a great feeling to see kids’ faces light up about reading, and it makes it even more fun to be reading Dr. Seuss and celebrating a great Sig Ep brother.”
Story by Kayla MacAllister, Staff writer