Cathy Epps surprised her students at Mancos Elementary School on Thursday with a video of herself reading “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss from Craig Hospital in Denver.
Epps has been recovering at the hospital after a Jan. 2 crash north of Mancos in which she sustained a brain injury.
Administrators broadcast the video to all Mancos students as part of their Dr. Seuss Day celebration. Epps read the story in the video, which also included footage of her rehab sessions at Craig and a Dr. Seuss Day parade she helped organize at the hospital.
“I’m so excited and happy to read to you today,” she said in the video.
Interim Principal Drew Pearson stepped up in Epps’ absence, and administrators hope Epps will return to work by fall 2017.
Before watching the video in the Mancos school cafeteria, students gathered on Grand Avenue for a parade honoring Dr. Seuss on the 113th anniversary of his birthday. Firetrucks and the high school marching band joined in the parade, as well as people dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters the Cat In The Hat and Thing 1 and 2.
Epps read “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!,” which discusses the challenges and journeys of life. She said she is working hard and making progress in her rehabilitation. She said she was thinking about her students every day and couldn’t wait to see them again.
“I know the place I’ll go is Mancos,” she said.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and Epps told her students to be safe and take care of their brains, and to wear helmets while riding their bikes or skiing.
After the five-minute video, Pearson instructed students to stand up and give Epps a round of applause. He recorded a clip of the student body saying, “We love you, Mrs. Epps.”
“If that doesn’t encourage you, I don’t know what will,” Pearson said.
Epps is expected to return to Mancos on Friday about 4 p.m., and a homecoming parade is planned for her.
People interested in joining the parade are asked to line up on Grand Avenue from Main Street to Monte Street.
Call the school at 533-7744 for more information. A Facebook page, “Friendsof Cathy Epps,” has been set up to keep people updated.
A fundraiser will be held for Epps and Connie Pearson on March 11 at 7 p.m. at Millwood Junction, featuring a performance by Sweetwater Station. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Millwood Junction or Absolute Bakery. All proceeds will go toward medical expenses for Epps and Pearson.