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March 4, 2014

Dear Pennekamp Parents and Guardians,

I am pleased to share that we received notification from the Los Angeles County of Education that our application for California Distinguished School has passed through the first phase of acceptance. Our next step is a school validation visit, which will take place in March.  I am very proud of our staff, students, parents, and MBUSD community. We couldn't have applied and progressed to this level of recognition without each one of you! 
The California Distinguished School application requires that a school team highlight two distinguished practices; ironically, one of our practices was geared towards improving literacy.  Pennekamp celebrates our love for reading and writing by devoting over one month to literacy.  This week we are participating in the nationwide Read Across America celebration that takes place each year on or near March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. He has published over 60 children's books and his delightful rhythm, language, and imaginative characters are loved all over the world.
Dr. Seuss had an interesting life and because we are all lifelong learners, I want to share a few interesting facts about this infamous American writer and cartoonist;
1.    Dr. Seuss is a pen name and his birth name is Theodore Seuss Geisel.
2.    He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.  His grandparents lived on Mulberry Street, the title of his first book.
3.    Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham because he was challenged to write a book using only 50 words.
4.    He was asked to write a children's book that was not "boring" with 250 high frequency words that children would enjoy so they could learn to read.  He wrote Cat in the Hat and it has 236 words.
5.    The main library on the campus of UC San Diego is named in honor of Audrey and Theodore Seuss Geisel for their generous contributions made to the library and their devotion to literacy.  They were life-time resident of La Jolla, near San Diego.
Please continue to uncover Dr. Seuss classics with your child(ren) in support of creating wonderful memories, as well as our Read-A-Thon minutes.  I challenge you to enjoy a "screen free" night with your Dragon and then record reading minutes on his/her reading calendar.  Happy reading!
With appreciation,

Debbie Mabry