World Read Aloud Day

Having fun with reading

World Read Aloud Day spotlights the joy of reading


JFK celebrated by inviting in special guest readers

John F. Kennedy Elementary School Principal Judy Diaz and Assistant Principal Bryant Romano stepped off the pages of Mo Willem’s “Elephants Cannot Dance” as part of their tradition of bringing books to life on World Read Aloud Day.

The administrators have been playing the roles of Piggy and Gerald the Elephant – complete with costumes – for the past few years to celebrate World Read Aloud Day. This was much to the delight of their students – and on Feb. 5 was no exception. Joined by a small cast of other characters from the book, they read and danced their way through the story while broadcasting live on Facebook.

Throughout the school, other reading celebrations were underway. Approximately 30 guest readers arrived on campus throughout the day to share the joy of reading. Parents, school volunteers, district administrators and local police officers were among the visitors. Some brought books with them, while others were provided with one upon their arrival.

“Celebrating World Read Aloud Day is important because it shows children the importance of books,” reading teacher Jaime Rubino said. “We like to show children that anyone can read aloud as read-alouds expose them to many stories from many different voices. Creating lifelong readers is always a goal of ours. We teach our children through our actions and if our students see our love for reading, we hope it inspires them to be lifelong readers as well.”

Second-grade children Skyped with the World Read Aloud Day founder Pam Allyn. Her mother, who lives locally, was one of the guest readers at JFK.

Guest readers had one job: read a story aloud to their assigned classroom.

In one third-grade classroom, teacher Krista Williams read “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen. Afterward, she led the students in an art project as they drew characters from the story.

Down the hallway, Port Chester police officer Moises Ochoa, who attended JFK when he was younger, read “Chopsticks” by Amy Klause Rosenthal.

Guest reader Stephanie Fehr brought along a special book that was written by her nephew, Mike Puterbaugh, called “Mike and the Missing Bike.”

Molly Ness, associate professor of curriculum and teaching at Fordham University, visited a second-grade classroom and read her daughter’s favorite book “If I Built a School” by Chris Van Dusen.

“I just love coming on this day,” Dr. Ness said.