UPTON, Mass. – Books, hats and silly shenanigans by The Cat in the Hat and his friends Thing 1 and Thing 2 had Upton’s Memorial School students learning and laughing out loud Tuesday.
Teachers, students and celebrity readers joined in the national Read Across America celebration.
Notables from the community, such as Police Chief Michael J. Bradley Jr., read a couple of “lost’’ Dr. Seuss stories - “The Bippolo Seed’’ and “The Strange Shirt Spot’’ - to students in grades 2 through 4.
The stories, printed in magazines as short stories between 1948 and 1959, were found by Charles D. Cohen, a collector of Dr. Seuss paraphernalia. He compiled them into the book, “The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories.’’
Preschool, kindergarten and first-grade students were read another Dr. Seuss favorite, “Spring Into Summer! Fall Into Winter!"
The highlight of the day for students, however, was probably a visit by The Cat in the Cat and Thing 1 and Thing 2. Just as they do in the Dr. Seuss stories, the three brought a tiny bit of trouble and lighthearted fun to each classroom.
They danced with teachers and students, erased notes on white boards, threw magazines into recycling bins, stole hats and lunches and backpacks, and threw tissue and paper towels around the room.
The event was sponsored by the Memorial Parent-Teacher Organization and the Mendon-Upton Regional Teachers Association.
Other notable readers included Schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Maruszczak, School Committee member Heather Applegate, Nipmuc High School Principal John Clementis, Selectman James Brochu, Daily Voice reporter Deborah Gauthier, Mendon-Upton Education Foundation President Kim Spangenberg, and Upton Postmaster Patrice Salvas.
Readers also included Town Clerk Kelly McElreath, Finance Committee member Jonathan Graves, Upton Town Crier reporter Melissa Orff, Upton children’s librarian Nicole Claire, Board of Health member Sherry Berger, and Police Chief Michael Bradley.
Reading to the younger classes were gym teacher Chrissy Horn, art teacher Jessica Grady, music teacher Ollie MacFadden, library teacher Mrs. Hulbert, EMT services member for the Upton Fire Department Brian Kemp, Nipmuc library teacher Stephanie O’Donnell, Memorial School Principal Debra Swain and Carol Gibson.