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Dr. Seuss issue provides teachable moment for parents, teachers

Read Across America Day and the birthday of Dr. Seuss have a different meaning this year. Six of the author’s once-beloved children’s books will no longer be published for their portrayal of certain characters.

Parents and teachers are trying to turn a negative into a positive and hope that recognizing past mistakes will lead toward inclusiveness in the future.

Collier Charter Academy celebrated Read Across American in style.

“We make it a big deal obviously for the kids,” said teacher Lauren Berry. “We want to make it exciting and just something they’re going to remember.”

Children and their parents woke up to the news that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be sold because of what Dr. Seuss Enterprises admits features racist and insensitive imagery.

Berry, the organizer of the event at Collier Charter Academy, said this presents a teachable moment.

“I think it’s really important for students to understand that we always grow through what we go through, so we’re focusing on the positive things and also knowing that we can learn different lessons throughout his books,” Berry said.

Lee County parent Vasha Tolbert agrees.

“It starts with making sure the creators, the illustrators, those who have a hand in putting these pictures in motion and creating the storylines that they’re doing in a place that enables diversity and inclusion,” Tolbert said.

That’s exactly what students at Collier Charter are celebrating — reading books, learning lessons and imagining a better future.

“To have an entire section just about a theme that they enjoy, whether that’s fiction or nonfiction, just something that they’re actually passionate about,” Berry said.

 

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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