As part of Read Across America, Gov. Jodi Rell took a break from battling over the budget Thursday to read a Dr. Seuss book to schoolchildren at Edgewood School.
Rell said she loves to read to students, but rarely gets the chance anymore.
Sitting on a rocking chair in the school library, with the fifth grader and the top-reading fourth grade class squeezed onto the floor in front of her, Rell read what she called “one of my favorite books.
As she read from Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Rell told the youngsters they can “go anywhere you choose.”
But, she added, “I don’t want you guys to leave town. I want you to stay right here.”
Rell said she feels “a great weight on my shoulders” these days as she tries to deal with a massive budget deficit and the necessity of making painful cuts to popular programs.
“I wish we were all off and away today,” the governor said, “away from the snow.”
The book’s theme is that students can do great things if they plug away through life’s trials and tribulations.
"Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98 3/4% guaranteed.)," Rell read from the book.
“There’s probably a message for me in this book,” the governor said.
Answering questions from the students afterward, Rell said that she’s lucky to have met five U.S. presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan, who left her tongue-tied.
She said she hopes that President Barack Obama succeeds in turning the economy around, adding that he is “trying very, very hard to do the right thing for our country.”
Rell said she has always loved to read, but these days she’s often forced to read “things like budgets that are not interesting.”
She said that English was her favorite subject in school and that even today, her staff has to take away her red pens or she’ll use them to circle grammatical mistakes on memos.
Rell said the best thing about being governor is meeting so many wonderful people.
The worst thing, she said, “is the long hours. They’re not as bad as they could be.”
The governor told the children that one of them might one day be governor.
“Wait ‘til I’m done,” she added.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org