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The Lorax Lands in Alexandria

James K. Polk Elementary Receives $1,000 from NEA and Mazda During Read Across America Week

Today James K. Polk Elementary School students were visited by none other than the Lorax himself as part the National Education Association's Read Across America - Driven by Mazda driving tour. Polk received $1,000, presented by Brown's Alexandria Mazda, a complete Dr. Seuss collection for the school's library and 48 copies of The Lorax for classrooms. There was a roar of applause from the students gathered in the gymnasium as the check was presented to Polk's Principal PreeAnn Johnson.

"I am thankful to NEA and Mazda for their generosity," said Principal Johnson. "This has been the most memorable Read Across America Week ever here at Polk," she added. "The connection to the environment is also important to our students and our school; preserving the environment is something we incorporate into everything we do here."

Guest reader Deputy Under Secretary for Forestry Arthur "Butch" Blazer kept the children captivated with the story of The Lorax after which the students took the Read Across America's Reader's Oath and promised to "read each day and each night, to grow up right." The Lorax appeared and sang with the students as they were reminded to read and to be kind trees.

Virginia Education Association President Kitty Boinott, Education Association of Alexandria President Gina A. Miller, and Mazda Manager-Government and Safety Affairs Dan Ryan participated in today's event with the students. Lorax-adorned Mazda vehicles were available for students to see outside the school.

Sponsored by the National Education Association, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.D. and more than 50 national partners, NEA's Read Across America is designed to get kids excited about reading. Nationwide, more than 45 million children and adults are expected to participate in NEA's Read Across America this year.

Friday, March 2, is National Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss' birthday and this year marks the opening of Universal Pictures 3D feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Students and teachers throughout Alexandria City Public Schools will hold celebrations with guest readers this Friday to commemorate National Read Across America Day.

NEA's Read Across America - Driven by Mazda stopped in Alexandria as part of a more than 20 city - eleven state driving tour, encouraging students to read and leaving behind books and cash grants to public school libraries. For more information on how you can help public school libraries receive donations through this program, visit http://www.nea.org/home/50838.htm.

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