McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

March 9, 2014

School hosts 'Cat in the Hat' Guinness record attempt

It's a book thing

McALESTER — Where’s the Cat in the Hat?

Where’s he at?

Where, oh where, is the Cat in the Hat?

Someone must have said “Scat Cat!”

Wait, we’ve found the Cat in the Hat.

The Jefferson Early Childhood Center is where he’s at.

Fill a room with 191 smiling, enthusiastic individuals — including 171 early childhood students — along with music, dancing and a costumed feline with a funny hat, and what do you get?

An attempt to help set a new Guinness World Record.

Students at McAlester Public Schools Jefferson Early Childhood Center were host to the Cat in the Hat on Friday.

The Cat stopped by as part of the school’s Read Across America Celebration as well as a Guinness World Record attempt.

Along with students from MPS’ William Gay and Washington Early Childhood centers, they were attempting to set a world’s record for the most people to don a Cat in the Hat hat. They were part of a 20-school network across the state participating in the Guinness World Record attempt.

Among those stopping in to help were McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison and MPS Superintendent Marsha Gore, along with assists from Jerry Johnson and Cal Ware from the Oklahoma Education Association.

With local OEA Chapter President Brenda Calahan singing, dancing and leading the way, the assembled students all donned their special Cat in the Hat hats at the same time following a backwards countdown.

“Five-four-three-two-one, yay!” Students and staff shouted as they donned the red and white headwear in unison.

Before the world record attempt, Dr. Gore spoke to the youngsters about her own love of reading.

“The reason I love to read is that it can take me all over the world,” she said. “I never have to leave my living room, my house, my bed.

“The other reason I like to read is books are my best friend.” She still has books given to her when she was their age, Gore told the students.

Before reading some passages from “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss, Gore let the students know she’s already tried the dish.

“My daddy was the best maker of green eggs and ham,” she said.

Mayor Harrison read some passages from “Cat in the Hat” after he addressed the students on the importance of reading.

“When I was growing up, I loved Dr. Seuss,” Harrison said. “Even today, I read every day,” he said.

After he finished reading, Harrison led the students in a special oath, which began, “I promise to read, each day and each night; I know that reading is the key to growing up right.”

Puterbaugh Principal Sabra Tucker also addressed the students after relating what reading means to her.

“Do you know I took a trip to the moon?” she asked. “Do you know how I did that? I read a book.”

She told the children they can read and use their imaginations to go anywhere.

Near the conclusion of the Read Across America Celebration, the students all received a couple of special surprises, which brought a cheering response.

“You get to keep your hat,” Calahan said, relating the first surprise, and then moving on to the second. “Guess what? Every one of you are going to get a Dr. Seuss book!”

Jefferson Early Childhood Center Principal Stacie Fryer said she felt pleased at how enthusiastic and well-behaved the children were.

“We’re so proud of them” she said. “I thank the OEA for selecting us.”

She believes the event is beneficial to the students.

“It helps develop a lifetime of reading,” she said.

Jacki Washington, a teacher’s assistant for Kristen Corder, said the students were excited because they’d been reading and watching videos about Dr. Seuss all week.

“This is a big event,” she said.

McAlester High School students who were part of the MHS Service Learning Class served as volunteers, helping pass out hats and books.

Afterwards, MHS student Chelsie Peckio said she felt the event went really well.

“It was hard to get some of them to keep their hats on, but they were really excited about it, so it was a good day,” she said.

Also among the volunteers were MHS students Niclaus Porter, who donned a costume to portray the Cat in the Hat, along with MHS student Chad Meadows, who portrayed the red Thing 1, and Brandon Green, who portrayed Thing 2.

Johnson, speaking for the OEA, sounded confident the McAlester students and those from the other schools will help set a new  Guinness record for the most people to don a Cat in the Hat hat at the same time.

Timekeepers and independent witnesses were in place in each school, and video recordings and still photographs were taken, he said.

“With the 20 schools, it will set a world’s record,” Johnson predicted.

When that happens, the students can always remember they helped set the world record mark, he said.

“Kids are aware of setting records,” said Johnson.

Contact James Beaty at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Demo Bringing Down the House

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fresh Paint Fresh Paint

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-31-CRAZY-DAYS.jpg Crazy Days sales, tax free weekend set

    Oklahoma’s sales tax-free weekend began at one minute after midnight Friday, with Crazy Days in downtown McAlester set to kick-off at 7 a.m. Saturday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Speed bump need for speed bump

    City of Krebs Street Supervisor, Kevin Mick, along with his crew and Krebs Mayor Bobby Watkins, put the finishing touch on the new speed bumps they installed at Krebs Public School that were paid and provided by the city of Krebs for the safety of the students and teachers.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • FLOODED.jpg Heavy rains knocks out sheriff's phones, flood emergency management offices

    Regular phone lines for the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management were knocked out in the early morning hours Thursday, while about 18 inches of water flooded the OEM office under the Pittsburg County Justice Center.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • coins Indian Territory Coin Club will meet Aug. 11

    The Indian Territory Coin Club will meet Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Angel's Diner on 69 Bypass South, McAlester. The program will be on ancient coins. Contact Gary at 405-426-9044 for further information.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • commissioners.png Gas company files appeal

    They’ve decided to hire an attorney.
    Pittsburg County commissioners plan to hire a lawyer to represent in an appeal filed in district court on behalf of an oil and gas company protesting the amount of its ad valorem tax assessment.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpack Backpack-stuffers prepare for Bash

    Workers and volunteers at Shared Blessings were busy Wednesday getting ready for this weekend’s Back-to-School Bash, preparing to give away backpacks and school supplies for children and teens who will soon start the new school year.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Car gets stuck in flood water, flood water receding

    July 31, 2014

  • 07 30 SOUTH AVE 1.jpg 'Road Closed' means just that

    No road.
    No kidding.
    For months, signs placed along South Avenue and Country Club Road read “Road Closed Ahead” — although the roads were still open.

    Now though, the “Road Closed Ahead” signs on South Avenue, along with those on Country Club Road and Peaceable Road, mean exactly what they say.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.