The Krewe of Seuss parade

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Krewe of Seuss rolled at the West Side Elementary drive circle on Friday, February 1.

The Krewe of Seuss parade, a tradition at the Picayune elementary school, started nine years ago when teacher Mary Douglas decided to incorporate the idea of celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss, March 2, with the celebration of Mardi Gras.

Douglas said, “Every year it gets bigger and bigger.” The school has gone from parading in the halls with a jam box, to parading outside the school with large stereo speakers.

This dual sided parade is now tied into the school’s participation in the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program. The RIF national book program is a literacy organization, and, through grant money, allows each child to receive three free books a year.

In preparation for the event, each first grade student picks a different Dr. Seuss book and wears a costume designed and drawn by parents and family members that match the covers of their books. The students are in charge of coloring in the designs. The students also made their own masks this year.

Stacey Shaw, school librarian, gets in on the fun by dressing as “The Cat in the Hat.” This year she was joined as parade captain by the Computer Lab teacher, Ashley Haspel. First grade teachers, Kelly Quint and Julie Dennis participated with their classes.

The Dr. Seuss band participated with toy drums and horns while Mardi Gras music streamed in from the speakers in the background.

While the first graders make up the parade krewe, the rest of the students get to participate in the fun by watching the parade and catching the throws.

This annual event at West Side Elementary School proves, while educational, that fun can be had through reading, and it marks the perfect end of the day before the Mardi Gras break begins for the students.