United for Literacy — The sixth annual Seuss-a-Thon took place this past Saturday, and it attracted a large and diverse group of children, parents, grandparents, and various other Dr. Seuss fans of all ages. Co-sponsored by the English Department and Park Road Books, this event featured area educators and literacy advocates reading Dr. Seuss books aloud to children in a marathon fashion for four continuous hours. Also, students from the Children’s Literature Graduate Organization and Sigma Tau Delta helped children with Dr. Seuss-related craft projects.
One of the reasons the Seuss-a-Thon is so special to me is that it joins together a wide variety of people in a convivial celebration of literacy. The people who read Dr. Seuss books at this year’s event included faculty, staff, administrators, graduate students, undergraduate students, and members of the larger Charlotte community. The readers included members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as the College of Education. Moreover, the event joined together UNC Charlotte’s English Department and Charlotte’s oldest continuously operating bookstore. The participants in this year’s Seuss-a-Thon came from many different backgrounds, but everyone came together to promote the cause of literacy and to celebrate the works of Dr. Seuss.
The United States is currently experiencing a time of tremendous divisiveness and discord. As I see it, one of the ways we can bridge our differences is through shared literary experiences. In a small way, the Seuss-a-Thon shows how literature can help bring us together even if it is just for a Saturday afternoon.
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
C. T. McGaha, one of our English major, just published his first poetry chapbook with Ursus Americanus Press of Nashville. The book is called Gutterboy Rides Again.
Jessi Morton, a graduate of our MA program, just accepted a full-time teaching position atCentral Piedmont Community College.
Quirky Quiz Question — At this year’s Seuss-a-Thon, Anita Moss read Dr. Seuss’s first book for children. What is the title of this book?
Last week’s answer: the platypus
In his presentation on “fantastic beasts,” Alan Rauch discussed a “real” fantastic animal that combines the bill of an aquatic bird with the body of a mammal. As he explained, the first zoologists who examined specimens of this animal initially thought it was a hoax. What is the name of this animal?