West Athens Campaign Kicks off with Help from Dr. Seuss
Parents in West Athens have a message for their community: “It Starts with Us.” That’s the name of their new year-long campaign through Best Start West Athens to encourage other parents to take simple actions in their children’s lives to help them thrive. And earlier this month, “It Starts with Us” started with Dr. Seuss.
On Saturday, March 2, the parents and Best Start staff hosted a “pop-up” reading of Dr. Seuss’ picture books for about 75 children in Jesse Owens Park in South Los Angeles. Explains Best Start program officer Natasha Moise, the pop-up readings last just a few hours and allow parents and volunteers to plan a bigger number of events and cover more ground.
The reading took place on what would have been the Dr. Seuss’ 99th birthday – also celebrated as National Read Across America Day. Children gathered on mats and blankets under tents and canopies to listen to the parents and Best Start staff read from some of the author’s celebrated books. At the end, the children received copies of other children’s books, courtesy of Best Start.
In addition to the pop-up readings, the West Athens parents plan to extend the “It Starts with Us” campaign to encourage parents to hug their children every morning and evening, taking them to the library, writing stories with them, having dinner with them at least once a week, and setting aside 15 minutes per day to talk to their children – even before he or she is born.