At St. Finbar School, it was not a day to jump and play. Oh no, no
way did the children play. Instead, guest readers read. They read,
instead, to each lad and lass in kindergarten through the
Celebrating the sixth annual “Read Across America Day,” guests,
including Burbank City Councilwoman Marsha Ramos, appeared at the
The event, which promotes literacy among young children, also was
a birthday tribute to Theodor Geisel, known to millions of children,
parents and teachers as Dr. Seuss. Geisel would have turned 99 on
Ramos read two Dr. Seuss stories to Kathy Coultas’ and Moira
“I remember reading these books to [my sons] when they were
younger,” Ramos said. “We had a whole shelf of them. ‘Fox in Socks’
was my favorite. I still have the book.”
First-grade guest reader Ryan Young, a former St. Finbar teacher
now working as an executive assistant at Baskin Robbins, appeared in
a “The Cat in the Hat” costume, wearing a tall red-and-white- striped
hat and white gloves and carrying a big black umbrella.
Third-grade guest reader Lee Bellis and her husband, Robert,
created St. Finbar’s school library in 1970 when their three
daughters, including Lorraine Bellis-Mark, were students there. For
the past four years, Bellis-Mark has been the school’s “Read Across
America” program coordinator.
Other guest readers were Linda Guillen, community relations
manager for Hometown Buffet, and Pam Kulik, community relations
manager for Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Burbank.
When the readings were done, the children filed into the school’s
hall, where they had assembled earlier.
Bellis-Mark’s son, Kevin Mark, 8, made a presentation on behalf of
“I realize that all the Dr. Seuss books are still readable, but
they are worn out, so I would like to present to the school new Dr.
Seuss books,” Kevin said. The Bellises gave about 60 new books to the
The children celebrated by eating cookies and drinking juice, but
not before singing a rousing version of “Happy Birthday” to Dr.