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State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson reads a book about California to a room of third graders as they celebrate a "Day of Reading" at Morello Park Elementary School in Martinez, Calif., on Friday March 1, 2013. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff)


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson stopped by Morello Park Elementary School in Martinez on Friday to read to Renee Travis' third-grade students gathered in the library for Read Across America Day. The 16th annual event, held on or around March 2, the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel -- Dr. Seuss -- is sponsored by the National Education Association. The statewide co-sponsor is the California Teachers Association, and this year's featured book, "Our California," was chosen in honor of the CTA's 150th anniversary. Throughout the superintendent's presentation, Morello Park Principal Jonathan Eagan said Torlakson often stopped and asked students about California history, and answered their questions. Martinez Unified School District Superintendent Rami Muth, district employees, staff members and parents were also at Read Across America Day. This was Torlakson's first visit to Morello Park, a California Distinguished School.