Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

RUTHERFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL students Richard Heins, Cynthia Acevedo, Fabiola Reyes, Elli Kyprianou and Matthew Thomas (standing from left to right) wear homemade “The Cat in the Hat” hats while posing for a photo with Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda and teacher Cindy Bishop Wednesday morning.

Locals Read Aloud
To Rutherford Students

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — March 9, 2001 – Although it was a few days late, students and teachers at the Rutherford Elementary School in Monticello celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a host of activities Wednesday.
Dr. Seuss’ birthday was March 2, and the staff and students were prepared to mark the occasion last Friday by reading some of the prolific author’s classic books like “The Cat in the Hat.” But Mother Nature intervened, closing school Friday, Monday and Tuesday due to snow.
Undaunted, teachers and students recognized Seuss’ birth Wednesday while celebrating the beginning of the annual Read Across America event, which runs from now until April 21.
Immediately following the morning announcements, five students from Cindy Bishop’s fourth-grade class – Cynthia Acevedo, Richard Heins, Elli Kyprianou, Fabiola Reyes and Matthew Thomas – helped introduce Sullivan County Court Judge & Surrogate Frank LaBuda by reading aloud over the school’s p.a. system. The five students then joined LaBuda as he recited the Reader’s Oath over the p.a. for all of the 546 Rutherford students to hear and repeat.
“It’s always nice to be with the young people,” LaBuda said. “Participating in reading and educational activities is part of good citizenship. Reading is something they will be able to do and enjoy for the rest of their lives.”
LaBuda also served as one of several guest readers during the day. He and a host of others took turns reading “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and other Dr. Seuss classics to the school’s third, fourth and fifth-graders.
The other guest readers included Bishop, Monticello Central Schools Superintendent Eileen Casey, Assistant Superintendent Bob Falcone, real estate broker Myrna Ginsberg, former Town of Fallsburg Justice Isaac Kantrowitz, Village of Monticello Justice Robert Kesten, Sullivan County District 2 Legislator Kathleen LaBuda, Monticello School Board member Jack Leshner, Monticello Middle School teacher Danielle Mack, Rutherford Principal Kim Patterson, Monticello Central School Director of Humanities Lynn Skolnick, Monticello Mayor Gary Sommers and WSUL deejay Josh Sommers.
“Events like this really underscore the importance of reading in a very positive way,” said Patterson, who praised all of the efforts made by staff members, especially Bishop, to make the event a success. “Having the guest readers come in and read to the kids is great. It shows them that reading is involved in all areas of life. They learn that everyone reads.”

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