Danny J. Bakewell Sr. (Kristina Dixon/ LASentinel)

On March 1, 2019, Mothers In Action hosted their 3rd Annual “Read Across America Day” at two local schools, Danny J. Bakewell Sr Primary Center and Marcus Garvey School.  Read Across America is a national event started by National Education Association to focus on literacy and reading.  NEA decided to do it on Dr. Seuss’ birthday every year since the date happened to coincide with his birthday.  

Some of the special guest readers included Bakewell Media Chairman, Danny J. Bakewell Sr. Brandi Bakewell, Councilmember District #8 Marqueece Harris-Dawson, School Boardmember District #1 Dr. George J. McKenna III, Brotherhood Crusade Board member Cliff McClain, Los Angeles Sentinel Managing Editor Brandon I. Brooks, Local District South Superintendent, Michael Romero, members of Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation & LAPD, JKH Consulting Owner, Jamarah Hayner, Representatives from Congressmember Karen Bass & Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office. 

Senator Holly J. Mitchell (Kristina Dixon/ LASentinel)

Readers chose their favorite Dr. Seuss books and or other books available to read like Sandra Evers Manly’s, “Raised Up by Mrs. Manly & Her L’s. The children gathered around, Dr. Seuss hats on their heads, to listen to the exciting stories. Many students yelled out, “I have that book!”  

Senator Holly J. Mitchell captivated her first grade class at Marcus Garvey School, reading her own rendition of “Green Eggs and Ham.”   Officer Hines of California Highway Patrol read to students at Danny J. Bakewell Primary Center for his third year. This year he chose to read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” 

Author, Latrice Slaughter read her   “I Love Me,” self- esteem book series at both schools. Author, KyleKyson Clark read his “Yes, Today You’ll Be Great” and author and Inglewood School Board Member, Carliss McGhee read her book “Oh To Be A Delta Girl” book to the children at Marcus Garvey School. 

George McKenna III (Kristina Dixon/ LASentinel)

Students and teachers took part in the fun by wearing characterthemed clothing all week long. Red and white “Thing 1 and Thing 2” shirts and green colored hair inspired by “The Grinch” kept the spirit of reading alive.  

Marcus Garvey School students Dejah, Emani Dior and Dallas favorite Dr. Seuss books are “The Lorax,” “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” They chose these classics for their colors, characters and creativity.  

“Our students love this day. I remember Dr. Seuss when I was younger, his books taught me how to read. He’s such an inspiration. I think it was their first book to help them read with all of the rhymes. I didn’t know it was his birthday, it brought me back to my childhood.” Kindergarten teacher at Marcus Garvey School, Sister Brown stated. 

Readers Brooks and Dennis educated and encouraged the older students at Marcus Garvey School to read at least fifteen minutes a day and to write about the highlights of their day. They also spoke on the importance of articulating, expressing and sharing their opinions. They read Langston Hughes poems and books on Stevie Wonder. 

Sister Rhianna Aryeetey, teacher at Marcus Garvey School said, “Today is extremely important. It is a time for us to read books that we don’t normally read because we’re busy with math and our regular textbooks. We get to connect with the written word. They get to bring their favorite books from home to share with their classmates. We’ve had a different activity this week based on his books. Each day we had a different theme.” 

“Coming out and helping schools in the community we’ve done it for several years now and we enjoy this. We think it means a lot to the kids. When I was young and we had a visitor come to our school to give us information meant a lot to us. Seeing people who look like them giving back makes a big difference.” Said the Nealys, retired Fire Inspector & teacher, respectively 

Karen Ward, Principal at Danny J. Bakewell Primary Center reflected on Read Across America as being, “A day for the educators and students to celebrate reading.” 

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Kristina Dixon/ LASentinel)

Tracy Mitchell, President of Mothers In Action “It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together to read and share our favorite books to with the children. Literacy is very important and we must continue to promote that.” 

“The children show us how they can read. Not only am I reading to them, and they’re enjoying it but they show me how well they can read. Our teachers do a great job here. This is something we do nationally, where we celebrate a great author and these are good things for our children. It develops their brains and competitiveness. I love this,    this is a lot of fun to come to. I encourage everyone who can do this, to come and volunteer their time to help read to the children.” Stated McKenna III. 

It was a fun day for all.  All the students and staff at the Bakewell Primary Center received Bakewell Company pencils and sack packs and all the students and staff at Marcus Garvey School received Mothers In Action lunch bags and water bottles at the conclusion of the event.