School breakfast celebrates Dr. Seuss

Published 9:20 am Thursday, March 3, 2011

ELLENDALE — Do you like green eggs and ham?

It’s a question that students at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Elementary School will be able to answer Friday morning.

Second graders Miranda Lacanne and Elisa Witikko, standing next to their classroom door, wore "Cat in the Hat" hats at school on Wednesday. -- Michelle Haacke/Albert Lea Tribune

Students at the school will celebrate the National Education Association’s Read Across America event commemorating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a breakfast of green eggs and ham, muffins, milk, juice and coffee.

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According to Kris Pfeffer, first grade teacher and coordinator of the event, more than 600 people showed up for last year’s breakfast event, and this year, she expects even more.

“We’ve already sold almost 600 tickets with two days to go,” she said.

All students are invited to the breakfast, and many bring parents, grandparents and siblings. Pfeffer said anyone in the community is invited to give green eggs and ham a try.

School cooks Sue Hill, Jolene Viktora and Melissa McCornack will begin whipping up the eggs and ham at 4:30 a.m. Friday.

While Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” book has been a mainstay in classrooms and children’s libraries since it was released in 1960, when it comes to the real thing, some kids wrinkle their noses at the unique concoction.

“Some refuse to even try it because it’s green,” said Hill. “I just tell them they can’t taste the green!”

The green tint in the food is simply green food coloring.

Students will also be making placemats for their guests to use at the event. After the breakfast, students will be able to watch Dr. Seuss videos and older students will be paired with younger students to read together throughout the day. Students from Deb Bently’s class at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School will also visit the elementary school, performing reader’s theater for the younger children.

The students participated in a variety of reading activities throughout the week leading up to Friday’s event. On Wednesday, the actual birthday of Dr. Seuss, Education Minnesota’s Vice President Paul Mueller came to the school and read to children.

Students from various classrooms at the elementary school also showed their love for Dr. Seuss books by decorating classroom doors. The second grade students in Deb Gaines’ classroom decorated their door like the Dr. Seuss book, “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”

Pfeffer said she thinks the popularity of Dr. Seuss books have spanned the generations not only because of the bright colors and rhyming words, but also because of the way society has changed.

“Kids don’t do nursery rhymes anymore, and this is more of rhyming,” she said.

She also thinks the messages, which include trying new things in “Green Eggs and Ham,” are constant among the younger and older students.

“The book ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’ is given to children when they begin school, and when they graduate,” she said. “It captures interests of all ages.”

The general public is invited to try green eggs and ham in the cafeteria of the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Friday. Admission is $1.50 for adults and $1.15 for preschool-age and younger. Students can use their lunch cards.