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Millcreek Journal

Families flying high with reading power

Mar 31, 2020 10:30AM ● By Katy Whittingham

A family eating dinner at the annual Mill Creek Elementary Family Literacy Night.

By Katy Whittingham | [email protected]

Mill Creek Elementary held their annual Super Family Literacy Night on Monday, March 2, fittingly on the 116th birthday of beloved children’s author Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. This year’s event was superhero themed and included a pizza dinner, desserts, a superhero photo booth and many literacy-related games and activities for children and their families to enjoy. Other perks, according to a table of mixed first and second graders, were “spending time with friends at school at night,” “cookies” and “spinning the literacy wheel for prizes.”

Because of the large turnout and Principal Ann Kane’s “All are welcome” message, families were given colored tickets indicating the station where they should start to reduce lines. There were several rooms including the library with various stations and activities, and students could even use nametags and a chart to figure out their superhero literacy name. The Salt Lake County Library was also present, and children and families were given a bag full of literacy games and activities to take home.

Along their way through the activities, children were greeted by Kane. She said she wanted to “make sure all are having fun, learning and having plenty to eat!” Dinner included pizza, beverages and a healthy assortment of vegetables and fruit. Families received dessert after filling out a survey in an effort to gain valuable feedback from the school community to always improve and prosper. Several parents and families expressed appreciation to Sarah Waddoups, a literacy specialist at the school, for helping to coordinate the successful and well-attended event. 

The event coincided with Dr. Seuss/Theodor Geisel’s birthday, now recognized as Read Across America Day, where children and schools all over the country celebrate their love for reading. Under his pen name Dr. Seuss, Geisel wrote the famous “The Cat and the Hat” in 1957 out of a concern about children learning to read with ineffective primers. As the story goes, publishers purportedly challenged him to write a book that first graders could not put down, and he used the first two rhyming words he could find from the list of words he was given to use — “cat” and “hat” — to create his story. The book’s success would lead to the creation of Beginner Books, a Random House imprint for children aged 3–9 learning to read. Dr. Seuss went on to write over 60 children’s books, most of them considered classics that still appear in classrooms today.

Read Across America and the National Education Association are committed to bringing year-round resources to help motivate children to read and bring the joy of reading to students of all ages. To learn more and for additional tools and resources, visit