JFK World Read Aloud Day 2021
World Read Aloud Day at JFK goes virtual but stays just as fun
They’ve done it again! Nothing can keep Piggy and Elephant down, not even a global pandemic. The two characters were determined to enjoy World Read Aloud Day, and they did!
World Read Aloud Day was celebrated on Feb. 3, 2021, and administrators at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School upheld the school’s annual tradition — celebrating the day with students in a virtual setting.
“Good morning boys and girls,” Principal Judy Diaz said through her screen. “Piggy and I thought it was really, really important we celebrate World Read Aloud Day today. Nothing was going to stop Piggy and Elephant from performing for you, even if we had to do it virtually.”
As they have done in the past, Ms. Diaz and Assistant Principal Bryant Roman transformed themselves into the characters Piggy and Elephant from the popular children’s series by Mo Willems. Typically, the two would dress up as the characters and read one of the books aloud to a live audience. This year, the two donned their costumes and read “Waiting is Not Easy” live during a Zoom session. The performance even included special effects. As the day in the story went on, the sky got darker and darker, a phenomenon which was shown on the screen.
The story tells about how Piggy has a surprise for Elephant, but he must wait before he can see what it is. Elephant tries to be patient, but soon his patience wanes. However, when the surprise is FINALLY revealed, Elephant stares in wonder at the brilliant starlit sky that Piggy was so excited to show him, a sky that everyone watching could see when it appeared on the screen.
“Wow!” is all Elephant could say. And he admits, the experience had been worth the long, agonizing wait.
The performance was held twice that day so students in the both the morning and afternoon sessions of the hybrid instruction environment could tune in and watch.
As Ms. Diaz noted, the story is significant during these unprecedented times, when everyone needs to be patient and wait for the pandemic to end.
“We have to be hopeful something better will be waiting for us on the other side,” she said.
The virtual performance was not the only fun to be had on World Read Aloud Day at JFK. Since special guest readers were not able to come to the school to read aloud this year, readers including parents, local officials, students and members of the community recorded themselves reading some of their favorite books. The videos were then compiled into a virtual library and the link was shared with students and teachers, enabling them to sign in and enjoy some great books.
Enjoy the virtual library and reading sessions here!