Kids and adults get in on the fun for Dr. Seuss Reading Day |

Kids and adults get in on the fun for Dr. Seuss Reading Day

Mary Pickels

The noise in a Greensburg YMCA child care classroom drops from just below screech level to pin drop Friday, as infants, toddlers and preschoolers listen to Ron Ott and Stephanie DeMaro, striped “Cat in the Hat” stovepipe hats atop their heads, read “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?”

And yes, they can moo — and pop pop, dibble dibble, eek eek, cock-a-doodle-doo, tick tock and choo choo, too.

The children happily follow the leads of Ott and DeMaro, members of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s local operating board, as they take turns reading the Dr. Seuss classic.

As part of “Dr. Seuss Reading Day,” the nonprofit is visiting six area pre-schools to read to students and gift the classrooms with donated books.

In total, 300 new books will be contributed to the learning centers.

In addition, each child will receive a gift bag with books, crayons, coloring sheets and Play-Doh, says Alyssa Cholodofsky, United Way vice president of development and impact. A grant paid for the donations, Cholodofsky says. Seton Hill University students helped pack the kits for the children.

The event also marks “Read Across America Day,” an annual reading awareness day celebrated on Theodor Seuss Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) birthday, March 2.

Volunteer readers DeMaro, a business development manager for Penn State, and Ott, a recent Excela Health retiree, took turns reading the pages and encouraging the children to mimic the sounds they heard.

Ott says he enjoys reading to his grandkids.

“They try to help me along,” he says, laughing.

“This (book) was one of my kids’ favorites,” DeMaro says.

Friday’s event marks the United Way’s second annual participation in Dr. Seuss Reading Day, with events planned in Westmoreland and Fayette counties.

According to a release, the reading visits connect to United Way’s mission to support early education and student success. Research shows that reading books aloud to young children stimulates their imaginations and expands their understanding of the world. Hearing stories also helps them to develop language and listening skills, and prepares them to successfully learn to read.

Other YMCA pre-school programs receiving visits from volunteer readers and donations of books include Ligonier Valley, Regional Family of Laurel Highlands (Mt. Pleasant), Uniontown, Valley Points (New Kensington) Family and the YWCA Westmoreland County in Greensburg.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Ron Ott and Stephanie DeMaro don their 'Cat in the Hat' attire and prepare to read to preschoolers at the Greensburg YMCA as part of Dr. Seuss Reading Day.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Ron Ott and Stephanie DeMaro, members of the local board of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, read aloud to preschoolers at the Greensburg YMCA.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
This group of excited preschoolers at the Greensburg YMCA gather to listen as volunteers read 'Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?'
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Camden Stewart, 4, gets into the spirit of Dr. Seuss Reading Day during a program at the Greensburg YMCA.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Hailey Horvath, nine months, waves as children filter in to a preschool room at the Greensburg YMCA for a 'Read Across America' program, celebrated each year on Dr. Seuss's birthday.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Alyssa Cholodofsky, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Vice President of development and impact, hands donated books to board members Ron Ott and Stephanie DeMaro to distribute at the Greensburg YMCA.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Ron Ott gets into wardrobe as he heads to the front of a Greensburg YMCA class to read to preschoolers.
Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review
Stephanie DeMaro is ready for her close-up as a volunteer reader for Dr. Seuss Reading Day at the Greensburg YMCA.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.