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Nebo students step into Seuss shoes

Springville kids write stories and invent ‘magical’ footwear

SHARE Nebo students step into Seuss shoes

SPRINGVILLE — Austin Bonnett dons a pair of red, oversized shoes attached to maple syrup jugs and gets jiggy with it.

Shaking his groove thing is the only way the fifth-grader's magic "Pancake Shoes" will whip up plates of hot cakes — at least according to the tale Bonnett wrote in honor of Dr. Seuss.

Bonnett joined his classmates and teachers at Sage Creek Elementary School in a contest last week to show off stories and artwork inspired by the madcap mind behind such books as "Green Eggs and Ham" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

The competition was part of a yearly tribute to the late author, whose real name was Theodore Geisel. His March 2 birthday is widely celebrated by schools — but teachers at Sage Creek spend the whole month in Seussville.

This year, among other reading, writing and art projects, students and teachers were asked to write a story, in typical Seuss fashion, about places they would go and things they would do with magic shoes.

Before they started writing the stories, all classes read Dr. Seuss' inspirational poem "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Then they were asked to decorate the pair of shoes they would wear if the dream trip they wrote about came true. Prizes were given by judges for the most creative entries.

Pam Trevenen, a first-grade teacher who has helped plan the month of Dr. Seuss-mania since it started five years ago, could only smile at the response from students and teachers.

The shoes ranged from a pair of Dr. Marten loafers decorated with multicolored beads and flashing lights to some old Anasazi sandals to silver and blue sneakers for Harry Potter.

The stories ranged from Bonnett's yarn about his favorite breakfast food to first-grader Martin Bradshaw's quest to take his English grandmother on a tour of Utah's scenic state parks.

Along with other reading and writing assignments, students shared their writings with kids in other classes. Some stories were bound and archived in Sage Creek's library, along with a photograph of the students who decorated shoes.

"Every year it has been building. I feel like this year the excitement is there," said Trevenen as she walked down a hallway decorated with big-bellied characters from such classic stories as "The Sneetches" and "Horton Hears a Who."

"The nice thing is the whole school is together on this," said Principal Steven Maughn, as he shepherded two girls past a life-size cutout of The Cat in the Hat near the front doors.

"The best thing is that kids are reading and writing."


E-MAIL: jeffh@desnews.com