Aline Bakewell and Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. reading to students at Danny J. Bakewell, Primary Center (Kristina Dixon/LA Sentinel)

Mothers In Action hosted their 4th Annual Read Across America Day celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2 at Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Primary Center and Marcus Garvey School.

With excitement and curiosity for the special day of reading, students proudly wore their signature red and white striped Dr. Seuss top hats. Youth ambassadors and MIA mentees greeted and escorted guests throughout the day.

Authors and community leaders came to support the students by reading their own books and their favorite Dr. Seuss books.

George Weaver reading to student at Danny J. Bakewell, Primary Center (Kristina Dixon/LA

“Nobody Knows My Name” by Elizabeth “Betty” Johnson said, “I enjoy reading my books to the students. This is a wonderful opportunity. My book is about my grandson and his nickname. It’s really prevalent in the African American community to have nicknames.”

“The Talented Tenth” book series by Ashley Feazell said, “My books are Pan African and cover Black people all over the world, from Beyonce, Marsai Martin, Tyler Perry and Celia Cruz. My books cover past and present figures. The goal is to give kids self-representation and self-esteem. So they can see someone who looks like them doing it, so they can do it too.”

“Bully Blossom” by Latrice Slaughter, “My books are inspired by self love. We have to teach children at an early age to love and care for themselves. I teach children how to be their own best friend.”

Aline Bakewell said, “We come to support the school and promote literacy. Whatever you pursue in the future, you have to be able to read, comprehend and appreciate literature on a very basic and spiritual level.”

Dr. George McKenna, LAUSD School Board member (Kristina Dixon/LA Sentinel)

Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., publisher of L.A. Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times said, “Like my wife said, it’s spiritual. Whether you read the Bible or the Quran, to learn more about God and how you fit into this world, you have to be able to read. The children are so special. And, to have the opportunity to read and motivate them by seeing people who are interested in them and taking the time to share with them our skills to help them become successful is special. The school is named after myself and my family, it gives us added support.”

Brandon I. Brooks managing editor for L.A. Sentinel Newspaper and L.A. Watts Times said, “Read Across America is a day of giving back and education awareness. I remember looking up to people that would come to my school and dreaming one day of being in a position where someone would care enough for me to give back. Interacting with African American kids means a lot to me. I’m thankful and blessed to be here today.”

Cora Jackson Fossett, staff writer and religion editor for L.A. Sentinel Newspaper said, “This is a great opportunity to share the joy of reading with the younger generation. I was honored to be asked to participate because I love reading and I’m so glad to know that there are people coming behind me that like reading too.”

LAPD officer Divinity and Firefighter/Inspector Mike Nealy (Kristina Dixon/LA Sentinel)

“Reading is extremely important to me, my son is in 8th grade. It’s really important for us to continue to read so we can expand his universe and his experience. I’m participating today so I can give back to the community.” Said, homeschool teacher Chelsie Young.

Arhomuz Aubry of Schoolyard Vanguard Artz said, “It’s exciting to get people to read and understand what’s going on. I’m here to take time and help children read and make the world better.”

“Anything dealing with literacy and interacting with the future of our young people is very important. Anytime I’m invited to spend time reading and mentoring them, I’m always going to be on point,” said, LAPD South Traffic Motor Officer Jerome Divinity. He was joined by his fellow officers Health Adams & Paul Mosley.

Tracy Mitchell President of Mothers In Action said, “Reading can take you a lot of places. Literacy is very important in our community. It is on us as a village, to make our children excited about reading. I am very thankful to our village of readers, youth ambassadors, community partners and my staff that made today such a success.”

Marcus Garvey School Mentees & Principal

Eighth grade Marcus Garvey student, Mitchell Thomas said, “I’m reading ‘Pete Has Big Feet.’ I want to read today to inspire children to be authors.” Mitchell, Kennedy Mitchell-Egbo and Solo Bailey are all members of Youball Foundation Basketball League and came to read as a community service effort demonstrating that their lives are more than basketball.

George Weaver vice president of Special Programs for Brotherhood Crusade said, “Literacy is key for success. I’m here to help take our young people forward. Today I’m reading ‘The Cat in the Hat.’”

“Reading is fundamental, you can not do anything without reading. This is a wonderful program, I wish it the best and hope to move it forward and get as many children involved as possible.” Said, Ernestine Lee Henning, former Supervisor of the Women’s missionary society for AME Church.

“Once I got my library card, I learned to love books, you can live through books.” Said, Lena Cole Dennis, president of Arc Mid-Cities Association for Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.

Participants of Read Across America! (Kristina Dixon/L.A. Sentinel)

“A day to celebrate literacy. It has been our focus here at Bakewell Primary Center for the seven years. If children can access the curriculum, it really opens their world up. I remember being a good reader, but not an avid reader until my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Friedman started reading to us. It made me love reading and I thank him for that. It made me appreciate and love reading, that is what I’m doing here, fostering a love for reading,” said Principal Karen Ward of Danny J. Bakewell Sr., Primary Center.

Linda Saunders, executive director of Marcus Garvey School said, “We’re so pleased to have our brothers and sisters come out from our community and share with us on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This is our 4th year of Read Across America and we look forward to it, especially the children.”

Readers also included members of LAUSD school board Dr. George Mckenna III & Michael Romero, Oscar Joel Bryant members Kevin Smith and Marcia Goodman, retired Firefighter/Inspector Mike Neely.