Gov. Baker, others delight Beachmont School with tales from Seuss

To know about ‘Sneetches’ is to know a little bit about the meaning of life – at least that was the consensus of Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday morning at the Beachmont School.
Gov. Baker was one of several celebrity readers to appear at the Beachmont School on Monday, March 2, as part of the district-wide Read Across America Day – which annually celebrates the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
“The amazing thing about Dr. Seuss is the timelessness of the stories and the messages and the stories and the creativity of the presentation. The ‘Sneetch’ story is very much a story that has a message and a lesson. That message and lesson is about recognizing what people look like is not what defines them. The amazing thing about Dr. Seuss is he was and is delivering those messages to kids. He’s been delivering them for decades. I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that he is a guy from Massachusetts.
Baker was on hand to read ‘Sneetches’ as part of the district’s event at Beachmont, and he faced numerous wide-eyed young people who eagerly listened to the story – sometimes reciting it silently word-for-word with him. Later, he answered questions about his job.
“You get to know all kinds of people who do all kinds of interesting things all across the Commonwealth,” he said. “The hardest part about the job is there isn’t a lot of time in a day, any day, for not doing much. If I want to play with my friends, I have to schedule it. Everything I do is on a set schedule from morning to night. I can’t remember the last time I went to the supermarket. Sometimes I just go out and run an errand so I don’t forget what it’s like to do that. The other thing is not everyone is going to be happy with what you do. Some people will like it, but other people won’t. In a state of 6 million people, you can’t make everyone happy.”
Joining in on the fun was Police Chief Jim Guido and Fire Chief Chris Bright. Mayor Brian Arrigo stopped by later in the morning, after visiting several other schools as well.
Meanwhile, Blades the Bruin and former Bruin Bob Sweeney spoke about playing hockey and other sports, but also the importance of learning a love for reading.
Sweeney said he started playing hockey very young in Boxborough. However, he didn’t really like it at first because it was cold and his feet hurt. Nevertheless, he skated and played a lot on the frozen ponds near his house, and that ignited a spark in him to try again.
“The next year I went back and tried again and I’m glad I did because I played for my high school team, my college team, and then for the Boston Bruins,” he said. “I went to Boston College and played hockey there, but more importantly, I got my degree in marketing. I did go on to play hockey for 15 years and it’s fun because it’s like being a kid. I got to play professionally for 15 years, but it doesn’t last forever. That’s why I’m glad I got my degree.”
Baker said he was careful to read every word of the ‘Sneetches’ as he could tell the kids at Beachmont were well-versed in the story.
“The other fun part is it was pretty clear to me this isn’t the first time those kids had heard that story,” he said. “They were mouthing the words almost as quickly as I could get them out. One of the things I took from that is that I better read all the words because if I don’t the kids will be reminding me I left some of them out, which my own children used to do when I read them stories.”
The annual Read Across America Day at the Beachmont School was put on by Principal Percy Napier and Assistant Principal Jannelle Kruszewski.

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