Excitement and laughter spread throughout the hallways of C. Melvin Sharpe Health School on April 2. Representatives from the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Secretary and Bureau of Reclamation were guest readers as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative.
NEA’s Read Across America is a nationwide celebration that takes place annually on March 2, which happens to be the birthday of children’s author Theodore Geisel, known as the great Dr. Seuss. DOI decided to extend this celebration into the month of April.
“Reading is fundamental. It is the keystone for success,” said Brenda Woods. Ms. Woods is a Program Manager for DOI’s Office of the Secretary and has coordinated the Department’s participation in this initiative so far this year. “The success of the program has been based upon the collaboration with the DOI Bureaus and Offices. It is a pleasure to work with individuals who are dedicated to public service and are making a difference in a child’s life,” Woods continued.
To support this initiative, the Department’s Educational Partnerships Program, Office of Facilities and Administrative Services and Office of the Secretary established a reading program where DOI employees can read to students in the classroom throughout the academic school year. Since 1983, the Department has developed strong relationships with many schools located across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. DOI currently partners with C. Melvin Sharpe Health School, School Without Walls, Ross Elementary School, The Lab School of Washington, The School for Education Evolution and Development Public Charter School and Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools.
Students at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School were elated to have the ladies visit and read stories to them. Some DOI readers were dressed as Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat character, wearing the signature red and white striped top hat. Reclamation Management Analyst Holly Peoples was indeed a big hit at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School. “I feel like I am making a difference in a young person’s life when I participate in education initiatives such as the Read Across America events. I work to motivate, energize and encourage employees within the Bureau of Reclamation to participate as well. It is truly a joy to be able to put a smile on a young person's face,” said Ms. Peoples.
Other Bureaus and Offices that have participated in the Read Across America initiative include: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior Library, Department of the Interior University, Interior Business Center, Interior Federal Credit Union, National Park Service, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Facilities and Administrative Services, Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Secretary’s Human Resources Office, Office of the Secretary’s Office of Communications, Office of the Solicitor’s Division of Indian Affairs, Office of Surface Mining and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
C. Melvin Sharpe Health School serves the academic needs of students between the ages of 5-22 with special educational needs and disabilities. It is located at 4300 13th St. NW, Washington, D.C. For additional information about the Read Across America initiative at DOI and volunteer opportunities, please contact Brenda Woods at 202-208-3617 or via e-mail at Brenda_Woods@ios.doi.gov.
Released: April 22, 2014