Children’s author, others visit JFK for World Read Aloud Day
Students and staff at John F. Kennedy Magnet School followed up their dynamic video invitation to the celebration of World Read Aloud Day with a day-long focus on reading and literacy.
The day began with a school-wide live-video stream of The Thank You Book, performed by Principal Judy Diaz and Assistant Principal Bryant Romano enabling each classroom to enjoy the performance at the same time on Feb. 1.
As the day continued, special guests visited the school. Among the guests were Port Chester Mayor Fritz Falanka, State Rep. Shelley Mayer and PCUFSD Deputy Superintendent Joseph Durney. All the guests brought their favorite books to share with students.
Students also welcomed children’s author Roni Schotter, who read from her book The Boy Who Loved Words. Joining her was her friend, and WorldLit representative, Lauren Bloom. The two not only shared a story, but Ms. Schotter also discussed techniques she uses to write stories and how she sometimes has difficulty thinking about what to write about.
The duo made a quick stop in teacher Ms. Pascuzzi’s class in order to live-chat with Pam Allyn, the woman who founded World Read Aloud Day. Ms. Allyn was visiting a school in Los Angeles, but took a few minutes to say “hello” to JFK students.
The women settled into comfortable chairs in teacher Ms. Mischaca’s classroom where Ms. Schotter read one of her books aloud.
“Some of these words you are going to know and some of these words you are not going to know. But that is the fun of reading —learning new words,” Ms. Schotter said before she began. “I am so excited to read, I am talking to people just like me. I love to read and write about my thoughts and feelings.”
The book told the story of Selig, who loves words but does not know what to do with them until he goes on an adventure of self-discovery and word-finding.
“One thing grown-ups get cheated out of is being read to,” Ms. Schotter told the fourth-graders.
Her book was an excellent choice for young readers and writers who need to find just the right words.
When she finished reading her book, she asked the students questions about words they like and if they enjoy reading.
She admitted that as a writer she sometimes has trouble coming up with words to use in her stories. It was something that the students admitted happened to them, too. And, just like the students in the class, she also keeps a writing notebook where she jots down words, phrases and ideas for future stories.
Ms. Blum joined in the day’s enthusiasm by talking to students about the importance of reading and how it can help them be healthy.
Each child was given a bookmark to enjoy as they pursue their own reading adventures.