LYNWOOD -- Lindbergh Elementary School students were greeted March 2 by a stream of 150 famous actors, musicians and sports figures, who came to read to them as part of Read Across America Day, an annual reading motivation and awareness program held on the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss.
Actors from “General Hospital,” “Dolphin Tale,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Supergirl,” and “Bring It On” joined sports personalities from the L.A. Lakers and USC cheerleaders to read their favorite children’s stories to enthusiastic audiences.
A class of second-graders listened to “Power Ranger” TV series and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” film actress Erin Cahill’s animated read of Dr. Seuss’ “There’s No Place Like Space.” This was Cahill’s second year volunteering for the event.
“I really enjoyed reading with the kids. My mom is a teacher, and she always was looking for new ways to inspire her students to read,” Cahill said.
“House of Lies” actor Donis Leonard, Jr., 16, chose the Seuss tongue twister “Oh, Say Can You Say” to share with first-graders who wanted to discuss every phrase, which meant it took a while to get through the story. The room filled with laughter when Leonard read the first page, complete with the rhyme, alliteration and whimsical illustrations characteristic of the beloved author.
“Dr. Seuss is one of my childhood heroes,” Leonard said. “I just love the way he uses words in such a creative way.”
Lindbergh principal Flavio Gallarzo said the event is a great way to promote literacy.
“It’s really memorable for the kids and it makes a big impression on them that even famous movie stars will take time to read a book with them,” he said.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Gothold applauded the event and its participants.
“Part of our district mission is to cultivate innovative thinkers, and what better role model than Dr. Seuss?” Gothold said.
After the celebrities wrapped up their reading sessions, they posed for photos and chatted with school officials and parents in the school library, which was decorated with iconic “Cat in the Hat” hats.
“Hats off to the wonderful entertainers who volunteered their time with our students for this event,” said Lynwood Board of Education President Alma-Delia Renteria. “We so appreciate their generosity of time and spirit, and the positive role they modeled for our students about making a contribution to the community through service.”