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Dr. Seuss characters come alive Monday at Parkside
High school senior Kristen Connova reads to a group of first-grade students at Parkside Elementary Monday, March 3 as part of National Read Across America Day, held in celebration of Dr. Suess' birthday. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - Costumes were more than welcome for Monday's Read Across America volunteer event at Parkside Elementary.

Cory Hirsbrunner, superintendent to the Monroe School District, was among the many volunteers who read stories to the students who were clad in pajamas and fun costumes in honor of the late Dr. Seuss's birthday, which was on March 2. High school students, community members and a police officer joined in reading for the children.

"Each school celebrates differently," Hirsbrunner said. "We try to have as many kids involved as possible."

Hirsbrunner read "I Am Not Going to Get Up Today" to a crowd of kindergarten students who hung on every word.

"I don't care if kids are getting up, right now all over town," Hirsbrunner read. "I'm the kid who isn't getting up, I'm staying down."

"He's so tired," one little girl exclaimed.

Hirsbrunner also congratulated the children on their ability to read and write and showed them her dissertation, published in 2007.

"I was born in 2007," a little boy said.

Monroe Police officer Jerry Dahlen read to a second-grade class who helped him pronounce the Spanish words in "Dino-wrestling" by Lisa Wheeler.

"What is that looka liber?" Dahlen said.

"No, it's lucha libre," said Ryan Mathiason, a second-grader.

"That's right, thank you," Dahlen said.

The sleepy, dim classrooms were brought to life by the children who tried to sit still and read along. Many of the teachers were just as enthusiastic and dressed up in crazy costumes. One woman dressed up as paparazzi and took pictures of all the volunteers with an iPad.