Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and members of the City staff set aside their usual duties Wednesday to take part in an activity they found enjoyable, entertaining and educational—reading Dr. Seuss to elementary school kids.
City employees have for years taken part in the annual read-a-thon surrounding the birthday of Theodor Geisel—the beloved children’s author known as Dr. Seuss.
This year, eight Perris representatives made the drive to Good Hope Elementary School to read to more than a dozen classrooms of eagerly awaiting children. Those included City Manager Richard Belmudez, Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin, City Attorney Eric Dunn, Planning Manager Clara Miramontes, Finance Supervisor Melinda Ward, Administrative Services Manager Isabel Carlos and Deputy City Attorney Adriana Mendoza read from a selection of Dr. Seuss classics.
“This is always great fun,” Mayor Busch said. “It’s great to honor Dr. Seuss and to expose children to the importance and value of reading. I enjoy seeing the kids’ reaction to the readings.”
Busch read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to two classes, displaying the text and pictures to the children while relating the story about a boy and a girl and the menagerie of creatures they have for friends and pets. Afterward, the Mayor took questions from the students.
One student asked what the Mayor’s duties include. His reply: Signing documents, representing the City at various functions and running City Council meetings.
Another asked if he liked the job. For the most part, Busch answered, because it allows him to take part in activities like reading Dr. Seuss to Perris youngsters.
Still another asked if the Mayor travels by private jet. Busch chuckled as he replied: “The City of Perris does not own a private jet!”
Inside another classroom, Belmudez read the classic “Green Eggs and Ham” to a third-grade class. It’s a labor of love.
“The staff loves it,” he said. “The students listen and are so attentive. You can see the enthusiasm in their eyes.”
Jennifer Lujano, assistant principal at Good Hope Elementary, said the Dr. Seuss reading event “helps build and strengthen the community” by putting students in touch with successful civic leaders.
“Our main goal is for our students to become successful citizens,” she said. “The Dr. Seuss reading are an example of successful people coming to share their success with the students.”