Before a group of 60 fourth-graders, Carole Cliffe recalled her days as a teacher at Leona Cox Community School, where she read Dr. Seuss books aloud to her elementary school kids.
It was 40 years ago, and her life as a teacher at the Canyon Country elementary school inspired her to become a children’s author. “I would look out the window and say, ‘I’m not going to give up,’” Cliffe said, as her audience sat attentively on the floor with legs crossed.
On Wednesday, Cliffe returned to the elementary school as the author of “Alowishes Unusual Birthday” to celebrate Read Across America Day, an annual event that honors reading and literacy.
The day also celebrates the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the famed children’s author who wrote rhyming classics like “The Cat in the Hat.” Seuss would have turned 107 this year. About 45 million people, including first lady Michelle Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, participated in Read Across America Day nationwide. Schools across the Santa Clarita Valley marked the day with assemblies featuring city and community leaders who volunteered to read their favorite books to youngsters. While sporting red-and-white “Cat in the Hat” headgear, Cliffe said she hoped to inspire Leona Cox students to develop a love of reading. “I’m trying to inspire future writers,” she said, “and I’m trying to encourage them to read books.”
In 2004, Cliffe brought together 1,300 parents and students from Fair Oaks Ranch Community School for a public reading of “The Cat in the Hat.” It earned Cliffe and the school a place among Guinness World Records for the most people reading the book at once. Wednesday’s reading also served as a fundraiser. Cliffe plans to donate a portion of her book sales to Leona Cox so the school can buy Smart Boards, an interactive white board for the classroom. “This is my way to pay back the school,” Cliffe said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Quilting is a practical resource handbook which assist teachers in the
implementation of Educational Code 44806. Her lessons leave an indelible
impression on the student's heart and mind in a most creative way."
Dan Elliott, Professor of Education, Azusa Pacific University.
last, a systematic creative seasonal book that enhances daily curriculum
in an area long overdue in our school system, character education. This
handbook is a marvelous resource tool that also keys into state testing
Alice Terry Lynn, Chapman College Professor, Author, Educational
Cliffe's dynamic lessons have proven to produce value
Her innovative curriculum assists students in making wise choices and
developing an ethical consciousness that will make them better
for the 21st century."
Gene Bedley, Principal, Director of Values in Action.
attitudes toward each other have remarkably improved since using the
Character Quilting handbook. The delightful social skill songs have
made an exceptional impact on our Sunshine kids. Our counselors appreciate
having ready made inspirational lesson plans for their students."
Donna & Tim Borrell Directors, Sunshine After School Program
this high caliber curriculum in the classroom has both lightened the
workload of school counselors and heightened student performance."
Tom Garvey, Principal , Pinetree School.