On NBC-TV’s Today show, Astronaut Scott Kelly announced that Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, will launch an Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Virtual Graduation Celebration (#ohtheplaces2020). With many graduation ceremonies cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, this virtual graduation celebration is designed to recognise the Class of 2020.
Complete with readings, graduation photo-sharing, inspirational words of wisdom, and more – all inspired by Dr. Seuss’s beloved book and perennial graduation gift, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – everyone anywhere can join in the festivities and salute 2020’s graduates and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this iconic title.
While setting the record for the longest spaceflight by an American (340 days), astronaut Scott Kelly had the opportunity to see places that very few on Earth have, and he offers an inspirational perspective on our current situation and what this moment means for the class of 2020. Kelly said: “It is an honour to join the Oh, the Places You’ll Go! campaign to recognise graduates across the country, who are beginning their journey of discovery and achievement.”
John Cena, globally renowned WWE superstar, children’s author, entertainer, and dedicated philanthropist, kicked off the virtual festivities on 1 May with a “commencement keynote” that included a reading from Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and his own words of wisdom for graduates of all ages. 1 May saw fans tune in on Cena’s Twitter feed (@JohnCena), and his reading is now available on Facebook, where additional readings and remarks will roll out throughout May. Participants will include some of our most honoured educators and first responders, as well as celebrities, authors, and illustrators.
Meanwhile, Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are calling for nationwide support of the Class of 2020, with a campaign encouraging people to post a photo in celebration of their 2020 graduate, or post their own graduation photo using #ohtheplaces2020, and tagging three friends to continue the chain. For the month of May, Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises will donate one book to First Book (up to 20,020) for every in-feed post tagged with #ohtheplaces2020. First Book will distribute donations to classroom libraries in the fall in honour of the educators of the class of 2020 who would have been recognised at graduation ceremonies.
Collaborating with Penguin Random House Audio/Listening Library, the campaign will also feature inspirational quotes from the book on social media, read by audiobook narrator John Lithgow.
Coming this November, Random House Children’s Books will release a new Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Colouring Book for all ages, featuring designs and patterns based on the classic title and available for pre-order now.
Susan Brandt, President, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. says: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! has always been special for graduates given its inspirational message. We’re proud that these words will still bring people together in celebration of graduates and educators of the class of 2020, albeit not physically. This year it is especially important for them to be reassured that they will overcome the ‘Bang-ups and Hang-ups’ of our current situation and push on to success.”