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KUSA - Thousands of students across the country celebrated reading on Friday in honor of Dr. Seuss - the man who gave the world classic children's books like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Green Eggs and Ham."

Gov. John Hickenlooper read from "The Cat in the Hat" from the Colorado Capitol.

"We remember Dr. Seuss for changing the manner in which we teach children to read," Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. "...Today's celebration thus offers us the opportunity to underscore the importance of early literacy as a critical foundation for our city's children."

National Read Across America Day usually falls on March 2 - Dr. Seuss' birthday - but was a day earlier this year in order to happen on a school day.

It was founded by the National Education Association in 1998, according to the NEA's website. Friday, everyone from schools to community centers to churches and hospitals host local events to celebrate and promote children's reading.

"[The] ability to read directly affects their future success, and the future of our entire city rests on our kids," Hancock said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)