Celebrating Read Across America in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's a big week for reading in Milwaukee, and all over the country. Many schools are celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America.

BEAM, or The Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee, celebrated with some special guests. Mayor Tom Barrett joined Milwaukee police officers on Monday to encourage reading in schools. Students packed into the auditorium to listen to the Mayor and Captain Peter Pierce with the Milwaukee Police Department read to them.

“I can't think of a better way to encourage kids to read and to teach them the importance of reading. And that's what this is all about, all across America this week,” said Mayor Barrett.

“We try to make reading as fun as possible for them while still getting them to understand the concepts that they need,” said Alisha Birtha, Principal of BEAM.

Captain pierce read a Dr. Seuss book, “Yertle the Turtle” in honor of the author's birthday. Both he and the mayor say these types of events open up several opportunities for students.

“For them to see adults in general reading I think it’s most important if they see their parents reading, or reads to them, but any adult shares with them the importance of reading hopefully will instill some dreams for them,” said Mayor Barrett.

“We really look for opportunities where we can have positive exposure with the kids. Meet with them, interact, learn a little more about them and they can get to know that we are a human face behind the uniform,” said Capt. Pierce.

On Monday the Milwaukee Police Department had officers in at least 22 other schools reading to students.