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Carol Falling, the information specialist for Wiesbaden Middle School, explains to students about messages of equality that Dr. Seuss was trying to communicate with his book, at Wiesbaden Middle School, on Friday, March 1, 2019.

Carol Falling, the information specialist for Wiesbaden Middle School, explains to students about messages of equality that Dr. Seuss was trying to communicate with his book, at Wiesbaden Middle School, on Friday, March 1, 2019. (AARON KNOWLES/STARS AND STRIPES)

Carol Falling, the information specialist for Wiesbaden Middle School, explains to students about messages of equality that Dr. Seuss was trying to communicate with his book, at Wiesbaden Middle School, on Friday, March 1, 2019.

Carol Falling, the information specialist for Wiesbaden Middle School, explains to students about messages of equality that Dr. Seuss was trying to communicate with his book, at Wiesbaden Middle School, on Friday, March 1, 2019. (AARON KNOWLES/STARS AND STRIPES)

Students at Wiesbaden Middle School perform Dr. Seuss? ''The Sneetch,'' Friday, March1, 2019, as part of Read across America celebrations. 'March 2 marks the birth date of Theodor Geisel - Dr. Seuss. Because the date fell on a Saturday it was celebrated a day early.

Students at Wiesbaden Middle School perform Dr. Seuss? ''The Sneetch,'' Friday, March1, 2019, as part of Read across America celebrations. 'March 2 marks the birth date of Theodor Geisel - Dr. Seuss. Because the date fell on a Saturday it was celebrated a day early. (AARON KNOWLES/STARS AND STRIPES)

Wiesbaden, GERMANY — Students at Wiesbaden Middle School celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the Read Across America program with a week of extra reading.

The program is traditionally celebrated March 2, the birth date of Theodor Geisel — Dr. Seuss. But because the day fell on a Saturday it was celebrated at DODEA schools a day early.

The school celebrated a week of guest speakers, guest readers and activities culminated on Friday, but WMS had another reason to mark this special day and week.

Recently, the National Education Association awarded the school a $1,500 grant in answer to a proposal sent in by school staff. The money was used to purchase five full class sets of graphic novels that covered diverse characters and their stories.

One title, “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, is about the author interviewing his father about experiences during the Holocaust.

“We wanted the teachers to have time with the books, but not take too much time away from the regular curriculum,” said Carol Falling, a WMS information specialist.

As the students read the graphic novels, they participated in discussion groups and seminars, allowing them to help other students understand the messages from the books.

At the Friday assembly, WMS students gathered to watch a group of peers act out Dr. Seuss’ “The Sneetches.” Students watched as two different types of sneetches — one with stars on their shirts, the others without — disagreed over differences. Next, a man with a machine manipulated both groups into paying him all their money until they had none and realize they are equal.

“Based on the theme, creating a nation of diverse readers, naturally that is the story we chose,” Falling said. “That is the story of the haves and the have nots. It just seemed to fit and hopefully the kids will think about it after with their teachers.”

The kids can read the graphic novels faster and with more interest, which allows the teachers and students more time to discuss the lessons involved in these books, Falling said.

Knowles.Aaron@stripes.com Twitter: @AKStripes


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