She read “The Cat in the Hat,” a book by Dr. Seuss,with great fervor to elementary school students from Arlington,Va.,and District of Columbia who were dressed up red and white like the book's main character.
Obama helped kick off the National Education Association's 13th annual Read Across America celebration at the Library of Congress. The campaign estimates 45 million educators,parents and students will participate in reading events nationwide this week.
The event marked the day that Dr. Seuss,or Theodor Seuss Geisel,a writer,cartoonist and animator,would have turned 106.
“Do you know the president of the United States reads all the time?” Obama asked the group of more than 250 students. “Our girls at home read every single night.”
The first lady said that her daughters,Sasha and Malia,are allowed to stay up 30 minutes later if they read.
Some of the first family's favorite children's books are
“Horton Hatches the Egg,” by Dr. Seuss and “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak,Obama said in response to one of the children's questions.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan read “Horton Hears a Who!” He was accompanied by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington,NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and members of Congress.
Roekel led the children in a poetic pledge to read every day. It began: “I promise to read each day and each night. I know it's the key to growing up right.”
On Monday President Barack Obama declared March 2 as Read Across America Day.