Article

Celebrating Seuss

A kid reporter talks to one of the Doctor's biggest fans, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Brandon Jones.

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
who'll decide where to go."

–from Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss


Tennessee Titans wide receiver Brandon Jones read these famous rhymes to a very excited group of elementary school kids in Nashville on the final day of Read Me Week. Every year in late February, the whole city shines some extra light on children's literacy with events centered on reading. This year, the final day of Read Me Week happened to coincide with another important day in reading, the late Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2.

To celebrate the anniversary of this beloved author's birth, Book'em, an organization that encourages reading for elementary students and the sponsor of Read Me Week, threw a birthday party at a local YMCA. There were arts and crafts through which kids could make their own Cat in the Hat hats. The group had people reading Dr. Seuss books like Yertle the Turtle in the corners of the gymnasium.

After Jones read aloud from his favorite Dr. Seuss book, I had the opportunity to speak with him about his involvement in the program.

"I think it is very important [for kids to read] because it helps you learn," Jones said. "[Reading] the biggest part of learning. It is something that everyone should enjoy."

When I asked Jones why Oh, The Places You'll Go is his favorite, he said that it was the first book he could remember getting from his mom. "You know, I just feel like I have a special connection [with that book]," he said. "It's something that has just been there, something that I always remember."

Elementary school kids with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Brandon Jones and the Cat in the Hat
Elementary school kids with Tennessee Titans
wide receiver Brandon Jones and the Cat in
the Hat at a party for the late Dr. Seuss's birthday
in Nashville, TN, on February 29, 2008.
(Photo courtesy Sue Broder)

After our interview, Jones, together with Miss Black Tennessee Kristen Herring, led the room in a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" for Dr. Seuss. As all of the kids at the party stood up to have a picture taken with the Tennessee Titans football player, in walked a surprise guest — the Cat in the Hat himself!

After the picture taking, everyone in the room gobbled up slices of birthday cake, bringing Dr. Seuss's birthday, and Read Me Week, to a happy ending.


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