HES students wish Dr. Seuss ‘happy birthday’

Shannon Moseley, Kimberly Fain and Jennifer Sellers are all first grade teachers at Helena Elementary School. (Contributed)

Shannon Moseley, Kimberly Fain and Jennifer Sellers are all first grade teachers at Helena Elementary School. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Students at Helena Elementary School sang a spirited “Happy Birthday to You” to Dr. Seuss, born 111 years ago, to kick off their March 2 party in honor of the famous beloved creator of children’s books.

The students all were dressed in various “Cat in the Hat” ensembles.

Some classes sported the iconic striped hat in a paper headdress form, a few wore the actual felt version and other students bobbed through the halls in Thing paper headbands with blue paper-strip hair.

Mrs. Hughey’s class sported silkscreen T-shirts and everyone was suitably be-whiskered.

The Grinch was also represented on a few T-shirts and lining the hallways were hand-drawn pictures of Seussian characters.

After cupcakes and juice had been enjoyed by all, the teachers convened onstage for their signature finale.

They donned red and blue tutu-style skirts, variations on gauzy headbands and red T-shirts numbering them as Thing 1 through Thing 14.

They performed a sassy chorus line routine to the well-known favorite “a tooty ta, a tooty ta, a tooty ta, ta!”with accompanying, “Thumbs Up! Elbows back! Feet apart! Bottoms up! Tongue out! Eyes closed! Turn Around!” gestures that brought everyone, including Principal Mary Cooper, to their feet in laughter.

For the past 18 years, NEA has celebrated the occasion of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday as “Read Across America Day,” and every class and teacher participated in the day’s various special events.

Earlier in the day, a parade of notable visitors, including Mayor Hall, Cris Nelson, Dr. Lynn Cook, Dr. Mary Howard and Michelle Hall read to students in individual classrooms.

Police K-9 Officer Phillip Richards read and brought along his hand puppets and personal photographer.

The Cat in the Hat himself visited classrooms and entertained during party time doing acrobatics across the lunchroom stage and spreading his own inimitable cheer among students.

Talented HHS junior Hamilton Johnson, who is also known for playing the drums since the age of 2, has made the Cat in the Hat role his own, performing at HES for the past three years.