EPIC Spring Break Project | Spotlight | Spotlight

Picture of EPIC staff and students. (Photo courtesy of Jorge Uranga/EPIC.)

99th Street School hears from EPIC crew.
Children love Seuss. That much you knew.

A poem inspired by an EPIC achievement:

They came together. They came with looks.
The biggest ones, they came with books.

In ones and twos, they came in the door.
Then, in three seconds, they were on the floor.

Some came to read, and they wore a hat.
They came to read. Right where they sat.

Of ways to read Seuss, they presented four.
The Cat in the Hat? He knew four more.

On Wednesday, March 24, 13 students and staff from Cal State L.A.’s EPIC (Educational Participation In Communities) program visited 99th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles.

As part of a community-service project called America Reads/America Counts, the EPIC crew brought books, costumes and activities for more than 70 first-grade students. On the floor of a multi-purpose room, they huddled in small groups, each with an EPIC reader, to celebrate the joy of reading inspired by Dr. Seuss.

Later the children engaged in larger-group activities that included the following:

  • “I Can Read With…?” – an activity that showed the children different ways that people can read, including using a Dr. Seuss Braille book created by a staff member from the Cal State L.A.’s Office of Students with Disabilities;
  • “Hop on Pop” – a perfect-for-families word game in which bubbles pop at the end of the game;
  • “Horton Hears a Who?” – a listening activity to promote effective communication skills; and
  • A RIF – Reading Is Fundamental – book distribution in which children each selected a book to keep as a final gift to extend the celebration of reading.
Picture of EPIC students coordinating literacy activities at 99th Street School.
(Click for higher resolution image.)

99th Street School educators deeply appreciated the visit by the CSULA student-volunteers, especially as it occurred smack-dab in the middle of Cal State L.A.’s spring break.

In May, 99th Street School students will visit Cal State L.A. for a day-long event called “Cal State L.A., Here We Come!” They will be among hundreds of students from other elementary schools that participated this year in the EPIC America Reads/Counts program.

According to EPIC Director Jorge Uranga, “This annual event (“Here We Come”) recognizes the work of CSULA students who tutor children who are below grade-level in reading and math. Perhaps more importantly, it also celebrates the academic achievements of the children. It resends, reinforces and solidifies the message that the children have been given throughout their tutoring sessions: ‘You are intelligent, and you can go to college.’”

That’s important to know even when – or especially when – you’re in the first grade.

 Picture of EPIC student reading to 99th street children.
(Click for higher resolution image.)

Theodore Geisel (the real name of the legendary author) once delivered his poem “My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers” for a college commencement address.

Geisel’s last Dr. Seuss book, published in 1990, serves as an timeless charge to graduates, whether they are from 99th Street School, Cal State L.A., or a college in Whoville. The book is often given as a dose of encouragement to graduates as they face the guaranteed uncertainty of the future.

Wouldn’t you know? It’s called, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

Here are links for your reference: