To help 20 kindergartners sitting on an alphabet-themed carpet get in the spirit for Dr. Seuss Day Celebration Day, mayoral candidate Jim Kenney donned a novelty red-and-white striped hat and read “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” to the Andrew Jackson Elementary School class on Monday morning.
Though Kenney didn’t attend Jackson — he went to the since-closed Our Lady of Mt. Carmel — Principal Lisa Ciaranca Kaplan said the former councilman’s long-standing support of the South Philly school led her to extend an invitation, which Kenney gladly accepted.
When teacher Robert Malara’s kindergartners assembled took their seats near the storyteller’s chair, Kenney jumped into the 940-word text.
For interactivity’s sake, he asked the youngsters whether anybody had ever been on television after the “You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV” line, and whether any of their names matched the “Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea” lines.
After finishing up in about 10 minutes, Kenney took a quick tour of the school’s green roof, which overlooks a historic cemetery, before heading to the principal’s office.
There, he fielded the assembled media’s questions about Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to oust his former council peer, Bill Green, as chair of the School Reform Commission. (He was supportive of the move and said it’s “awesome” to have a former principal like Marjorie Neff atop the SRC, but more to come on that from NinetyNine via Katie Colaneri later today.)
Keeping with the spirit of the event — and because I’d just passed a New Orleans restaurant offering a $7.95 Seussian breakfast deal days earlier — it was time to ask a weighty question: Would you eat Green Eggs and Ham?
“Yes I would, Sam-I-Am,” he said before conceding the eggs and corned beef he’d just eaten at Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat “weren’t green.”
And then, with a campaign-schedule mountain a’waitin’, Kenney got on his way.