Residents Share Love of Reading with Kids for National Reading Month

March 7, 2022

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” is a quote from “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!” — an iconic book by famous children’s author Dr. Seuss. Since 1921, the words of Dr. Seuss have inspired minds young and old and encouraged anyone and everyone to pick up a book and read.

Despite his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss’ legacy has continued to live on, inspiring the National Education Association to create National Reading Month. Recognized annually in March, National Reading Month is a time to celebrate and encourage a love of reading for all ages – helping people discover new books and cherish old classics. La Posada encourages residents to engage in lifelong learning through various events and programs at the community all year long. Recently, residents had the opportunity to honor National Reading Month in true “Seussian” fashion by observing Read Across America Day.

Read Across America Day launched in 1998 and falls on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. This year, the La Posada wellness team organized an intergenerational celebration between residents and kindergarten students from Marsh Pointe Elementary.

“Because Read Across America Day promotes and encourages reading for all ages, we wanted to celebrate it in a way that allows multiple generations to interact,” says Rick Minichino, wellness director at La Posada. “It was great to see our residents so enthusiastic and eager to read to the young class.”

On March 2, residents and associates of La Posada got up bright and early and dressed in Cat in the Hat-like attire to get into the true Dr. Seuss spirit. Conducted via Zoom, residents took turns reading an array of Dr. Seuss classics to the kindergarten class.

Among the iconic titles read was one of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” known for its meaningful message about the importance of seizing new opportunities, keeping an open mind and trying new things. For the residents who participated, sharing stories with the kindergartners brought back meaningful memories of their own childhood, where reading Dr. Seuss books was a big part of learning, growing, and discovering a love for reading.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend my morning,” says Barbara Schaffer, resident of La Posada. “It was a wonderful experience and brought back all the memories of when I was a teacher and got to read books to young children.”

La Posada also provided each child in the kindergarten class with a copy of “Oh the Places You’ll Go” to encourage the students to “Spring Forward with Books” as well as to prompt them to explore their self-confidence and identity, keep an open mind and stay positive in the face of future adversity.

“Reading regularly is vital for children’s development,” says Brad Cadiere, executive director of La Posada. “Not only do we want to encourage them to read, but we also want to instill motivation on an impressionable generation to continue to read, learn and grow through all the places they’ll go.”

Beyond Read Across America Day, residents of La Posada are provided with a multitude of opportunities to learn within the community throughout the year. Each month, residents are given a wellness calendar that is stacked full of events and programs that target various dimensions of wellness. In March alone, residents were given the opportunity to attend six different lectures that discuss a range of topics in current events and politics.

“Our wellness team works to provide an environment that encourages our residents to develop and continue to learn,” says Minichino. “We want our residents to be intrinsically motivated, so we make sure to provide extensive opportunities for them to read, have discussions and engage in activities that encourage them to continue to grow.”

In addition to activities provided by the wellness team, residents of La Posada have access to a full computer center and an extensive library that equips residents with all the resources they need to learn and discover on their own time.

“We hope to inspire our residents to commit to lifelong learning,” says Cadiere. “It has proven, extensive benefits for overall health and well-being and allows our residents to be more engaged with the world around them.”