Waterville's Mayor Joins Educare to Celebrate 'Read Across America Day'

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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - To celebrate 'Read Across America Day' and to honor what would have been Dr. Seuss' 114th birthday, Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro paid a visit to kids at Educare Central Maine on Friday.

He read some of his family's favorite books and issued a city proclamation.

"Therefore, be it resolved that I, Nick Isgro, Mayor of the City of Waterville, Maine call on the citizens of Waterville to ensure that every child is in a safe place reading together with a caring adult on March 2, 2018."

Educare Central Maine is a head start program in Waterville that serves roughly 200 kids from birth to age five.

The center stresses the importance of getting kids excited about reading at a young age.

"90% of their brain has been developed by the time they're five, so you know, we want to put a lot of books in their hands. We want to give them lots of opportunities for positive role modeling," said Rhonda Keiser, Associate Director of Educare.

The annual 'Read Across America Day' is always held on Dr. Seuss' birthday.

"There's something about the fun language and the words that Dr. Seuss came up with over the years and the whimsical nature of the art that went along with it. You can recognize it from a mile away," said Isgro.

To pay tribute to one of America's most beloved children's book authors, who passed away in 1991 at the age of 87, Educare staff dressed the part.

His tongue-twisters and inventive imagination continue to inspire young children to pick up a book for the very first time, while also appealing to the child-at-heart inside every adult.

"Families reading with their children is crucial, not only to prepare them for kindergarten, but also to build relationships. One great thing also this week is our friends at Raising Readers donated thousands of books to our program. So all of our 200 children are able to take home a brand new book, so we know that they'll be snuggling up in a loved one's lap tonight reading together. And that's what it's all about," said Erica Palmer, Master Teacher Supervisor, Educare Central Maine.