By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
All the classrooms at Mark Twain Elementary School suddenly fell silent at 2:15 Tuesday afternoon. No, it wasn’t recess time or early dismissal. For 45 minutes, every student and every teacher in the building quietly read books. Sept. 9 was International Literacy Day.
Mark Twain is one of thousands of schools around the world that celebrate the event, which has been held annually since 1966. It’s organized by the World Literacy Foundation, which states on its website that one in four adults worldwide is illiterate, and “literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning.”
Students were instructed to wear red, blue or green according to their grade level, to support the theme of the Dr. Seuss quote “I can read in red. I can read in blue. I can read in pickle color, too!” The quote is from Suess’s book “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
Students read books of their own choosing. Those in third, fourth and fifth grades read in the gym. Second graders read in the music room. First graders went to other classrooms. Ironically, the only voices in the school could be heard in the library, where librarian Kim Robertson read books aloud to kindergartners.