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March 2, 2004

Lt. Gov. Quinn celebrates Dr. Seuss’s 100th Birthday and participates in “Read Across America Day” with 2nd Grade Students

CHICAGO- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of literary genius Theodor S. Geisel (otherwise known as Dr. Seuss) and  “Read Across America Day” by reading aloud and handing out 50 copies of  ‘The Cat in the Hat’ to 2nd Graders at the Chicago International Charter School.
      The “Seussentennial” shares the date with annual Read Across America Day, when the National Education Association urges us to take part in reading events across the nation and to don striped stovepipe hats.
      “Readers make leaders, and Dr. Seuss wrote creative, unforgettable stories that offered valuable lessons,” said Quinn. “ ‘The Cat in the Hat’ is a literary treasure for all generations and a book every child should have in their home library.”
      Quinn – who gave out copies of the story of the smiling cat in a creased stovepipe hat to each of the students – supports Gov. Rod Blagojevich on the necessity of books in children’s lives.
      Dr. Seuss’s 44 books together have sold more than 500 million copies, which is a testament to the genius and everlasting popularity of Geisel’s rhythmic, rhyming tales. His imaginative yarns depict Geisel’s optimistic outlook that the world can always be made better and share the theme of goodness being triumphant in the end.
      “Reading opens the minds of kids to new worlds, endless possibilities and the power of creative thinking,” said Quinn. “Dr. Seuss’s stories do this while weaving in valuable lessons of tolerance, understanding and compassion.”
      Quinn read ‘The Cat in the Hat’ along with the 2nd grade students, and discussed with teachers and faculty the Taxpayer Action Amendment, which if passed will allow schools more funding for books and other expenses.
      Under the Taxpayer Action Amendment, on July 1 of every year, Illinois’ 896 elementary and secondary public school districts will receive $575 million in supplementary aid which amounts to about $277 for each of the state’s 2,071,391 students.
‘Don’t give up! I believe in you all! A person’s a person, no matter how small!’
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