Kappas, kids celebrate annual Dr. Seuss Day

Jamie Soukup

When local Walla Walla youth read the book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” they might not have realized that one of those places was Whitman College.

Last Sunday, March 1, the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) put on their fifth annual Dr. Seuss Day event at Reid Campus Center, in conjunction with the Walla Walla Public Library. The event, which lasted from 2-3:30 p.m., honored the birthday of the children’s book author Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Geisel. As part of the sorority’s philanthropy project, the event was free and open to the public and focused on promoting literacy.

The activities for children at the event included paper-hat decorating, kite making, pretend-fishing and fish-decorating, making paper bag puppets and designing birthday cards for Dr. Seuss.

KKG Philanthropy Chair Leah Wheeler, a sophomore, spearheaded the event. She said that planning for the event had been going on for two to three months, and estimated about 75 sorority members volunteered.

Wheeler also estimated that around 300 kids, mostly between the ages of 4 and 6, attended Dr. Seuss day with their families this year: an increase from last year’s attendee total, which was around 200.

“We got about 100 more kids than we usually do, and I think that constitutes great success,” said senior Christie Seyfort.

Seyfort acted as the character “Thing 2” in the Cat in the Hat skit that KKG performed. She described the skit as a winner with the children.

From top, clockwise: Christie Seyfort, '09, Carole Wilson, '09, Katelyn  Sorensen, '12, and Kristin Coverdale, 11, rehearse the

“There were kids all over the ground, and they’d run up for pictures and hugs: it was really cute. And then all days, the kids were making puppets of the characters and coming up to us and getting their faces painted,” Seyfort said, of her favorite moments of the day.

The Center for Community Service also helped out with the event. Storytime Project Intern and senior Souk Thongdymanyvong organized the event’s Master Project.

The Master Project involved giving the children at the event 5 by 5 inch paper squares for them to decorate by drawing Dr. Seuss characters or objects, or in any way they wished, to ultimately be turned into a collage. Once compiled, the collage will be donated to the local library.

Thongdymanyvong estimated that she made 100-150 squares, and all that all but four squares were decorated.

“It was a big success, and all the kids loved it,” Thongdymanyvong said. “It was really cute to watch the kids draw… and some of those kids had some really good art skills!”

Thongdymanyvong emphasized the importance of the event and literacy advocacy. She said one of her favorite thing about the event was that children each received a free Dr. Seuss book to take with them as they left.

“I think that’s really important for kids to be exposed to books and reading. It’s a really great gift for them to have,” Thongdymanyvong said.

Overall, Wheeler was pleased with the day.

“I got a lot of positive feedback from the community. The volunteers really enjoyed it and the kids had fun: they were walking out with their books and big smiles,” Wheeler said.