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Lance Briggs, NFL linebacker of the Chicago Bears and comic book writer, visited his hometown on Friday, March 2, to celebrate the life of a legend. At 3:30 p.m. you would have found an army of toddlers, a sprinkle of teenagers, and parents promptly at the Elk Grove Library, listening to one of the most memorable books of our time—“Green Eggs and Ham.”
“Green Eggs and Ham” was one of 44 books that Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated before he died in 1991. Over his lifetime, his books have been purchased by around 200 million people worldwide and translated into 15 different languages, according to DrSeussArts.com. As an acclaimed children’s book writer and illustrator, he won multiple awards including an Oscar, two Emmys, a Peabody and Pulitzer Prize.
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s contribution to education and the arts, Briggs made a special trip to Elk Grove. Mr. Briggs said, “Sacramento helped make me the man I am today.”
Briggs’s storybook reading was the finale of a four-hour Dr. Seuss 108th birthday bash. The party began with a visit from Scooter, the Spare The Air mascot, and two gorgeous golden retrievers from Canine Companions for Independence. You could find kids bouncing around with Scooter, playing with dogs, coloring, or sporting a temporary Dr. Seuss tattoo and face painting. From Dr. Seuss themed cheeks to egg-shaped maracas to balloon animals, the presence of Dr. Seuss reverberated throughout the library.
Dimitrius Price, parent of four and Elk Grove Library patron, said that he “remembers the poetic way (a Dr. Seuss book) was written.” In fact, Mr. Price said, “‘Green Eggs and Ham’ was one of the first stories I remember my mother reading to me.”
Price brings his children to the library often and attends many of the other events hosted by the Elk Grove Library. He believes that “it is important for kids to stay focused.”
Briggs shared a similar sentiment when one parent asked what advice he could give children interested in advancing their football skills. He replied with, “Is he excelling in school?” He says that excelling in school comes before excelling in the field.
He advises that for those pursuing a seemingly unattainable goal to “pursue your dreams with realistic goals,” and recognize that “nothing great is going to come easy; understand that it takes hard work to get there.”
Events like the annual Dr. Seuss birthday bash are one of the many ways that the Sacramento Public Library aims to bring the community together while celebrating books and reading. The Sacramento Public Library’s 28 branches combined host over 5,200 program events each year.
Briggs also plans to give back to Sacramento this summer. On June 9, 2012, he will host his 4th annual Lance Briggs Nor-Cal All Star Football Camp, which is a program under his Briggs4Kidz Foundation. Kids interested in participating can learn more at www.briggs55footballcamps.com.
He believes that it is important to “never forgot where you come from,” and says, “if you can enlighten or touch any kids heart, then you know what you are doing is meaningful.”