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Cat in the Hat in the Blind Library!

Joy Carriger dressed as Cat in the Hat working with students.

During Dr. Seuss's birthday party in the FSDB Blind Library on March 2, 2019, students discovered a Cat in the Hat ready to lead them in fun and educational activities. It was none other than Librarian Joy Carriger, who sported a full catsuit and painted whiskers for Read Across America! This national event calls for every child to celebrate reading on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, beloved children’s book author.

Carriger explained, “My personal goal for the event was to make reading fun, to inspire curiosity and help students learn about Dr. Seuss, his characters and the messages they teach while having fun with words! I decided to dress up as The Cat in the Hat for the first time to make sure all of our students know about this important character in children's literature.”

Beautiful, eye-catching displays around the interior of the library contained well-known books by Dr. Seuss, stuffed characters from his books, and there was a stand packed with themed cutout bookmarks for students.

The entire Blind Elementary School took part in the festivities, with activities geared to grade levels. Older students watched a Brainpop Jr. video, collaborated online, played a quizlet game, and completed a word rhyming worksheet in groups. Younger students created Cat in the Hat crafts, completed acrostics poems, and watched the Brainpop video. All classes listened to You Are Kind by Dr. Seuss, funded by the campus Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. Horton the Elephant modeled kindness throughout the book. Special Blind High School student guest Veronica Hyatt visited in the afternoon and read the story looking like an adolescent Cindy Who with pink ribbons in her hair.

All groups received healthy snacks from the table labeled “Smart Snacks for Students Only” – Carriger knows her child psychology! PBS funds were used to purchase Dr. Seuss books for Blind Elementary School and Early Learning Center students, which they received in individual goody bags as the event finale.

As students stood in the door ready to return to their classrooms, they joined in singing happy birthday to Dr. Seuss. Born in 1904, he would be 115 years old if he was alive today. Carriger describes literacy as her passion and the motivation behind becoming a librarian.

“In this role, I can encourage students to become lifelong learners. My job is helping others find the information they seek and introduce them to new information. I teach students that literacy is more than being able to read; literacy is also being able to communicate. I feel this is the one skill that can take students anywhere they wish to go.”

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss is Carriger's personal favorite, with its beautiful message about gratitude.

By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services Department

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About FSDB

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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