The Cat in the Hat says he can read with his eyes shut, but at schools across Hesperia, Dr. Seuss' birthday will be celebrated by readers with their eyes open.


Now in its 13th year, Read Across America Day is a project of the National Education Association intended to get kids excited about reading by having adults visit their classrooms to read books to students. Typically, the event takes place on March 2, the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss, but schools sometimes choose alternate days based for curriculum or other reasons.


At least four Hesperia Unified elementary schools will be participating in this year's activities: Carmel Elementary School, Cypress School of the Arts, Hollyvale Elementary School and Topaz Preparatory Academy.


Carmel will be holding a Read-A-Thon on March 2, with students collecting pledges during the week leading up to Read Across America Day. Proceeds will go to purchase new library books for the school.


"Cypress School of the Arts will be celebrating with a family night at Barnes and Noble," said principal Pamela Seeger. Members of the school community will be there from 4 to 9 p.m. on March 2. "Children and families will be able to participate in a scavenger hunt, crafts, teachers will be reading books to children in the children's section of the store between 4 to 6 p.m., and there will be a book walk in the cafe with a live DJ from 4 to 7 p.m."


"Two to three hours of the morning is what we (spend on) Read Across America," said Cindy Oliver, a family resource specialist at Hollyvale. Her school has participated for at least the past six years and will be participating on March 2 this year. "They see how important it is to read that every job that you have, you must be able to read directions, fill out applications, etc."


Topaz will be holding their Read Across America session, featuring guest readers from the community, on Friday.


Hollyvale is still looking for additional readers. Call (760) 947-3484 for more information.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.