Special Reading of Dr. Seuss Book Teaches Students to Use Their Voice

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A metro group performed a special reading of a Dr. Seuss book in honor of the famous author’s birthday Wednesday.

Dr. Seuss would have been 112, and students with the Children and Family Urban Movement put together a readers' theater in honor of Dr. Seuss.

"It's a great way to read out loud, which is a great way to experience reading and the enjoyment of reading, and being able to transfer that to younger children was the whole point," said executive director Carmen Lampe Zeitler.

It can also be nerve-wracking reading in front of your peers.

"I'm just nervous," said Jacob Grauerholz, who is in fourth grade at Moulton Extended Learning Center. He read the part of Horton in "Horton Hears a Who.”

"I was kind of nervous when I got up there," said Nijha Wortham, who is in fifth grade.

Nyxon Deras agreed. "I was performing in front of so many people," he said.

Every Wednesday the group has a power breakfast where they work on literacy. In January, students auditioned for the readers’ theater. Fifteen got parts and practiced together once a week.

Children and Family Urban Movement serves the neighborhood north of Mercy Medical Center. CFUM works with about 80 families throughout the year.

Those attending the special performances got to take home a copy of the book.

“All the research shows if children have books in their homes, they’re probably more likely to enjoy reading and do well at reading, and so we try to build up families’ libraries,” Lampe Zeitler said.

The goal is also for the students to learn the lesson shared through Seuss’ special rhymes. "That no matter how small you are, you still are important and every voice counts, so that means whatever you say is important too," said Wortham.

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