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Community Members Visit Pound Ridge Elementary to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

 

Chief Mulcahy talks to PRES class

Last week, Pound Ridge Elementary School joined people all over the globe in celebrating World Read Aloud Day. For more than a decade, the non-profit LitWorld has encouraged people “to celebrate the power of reading aloud to create community and amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right.” Celebrated by millions, it has become a beloved tradition at PRES.

Community members and Bedford Central School District administrators visited the school to read to eager classes. Students listened to stories that ranged from Froggy Learns to Swim to Georgie's Best Bad Day, Seeds of Freedom and more.

In Jill Bresnick’s first-grade class, BCSD’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Amy Fishkin read We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio, which led to interesting discussions that not only dove into students’ literacy skills but also served as a way to make connections within the classroom community.

Fishkin asked students lots of questions as she was reading, ensuring they were following along and understanding the story.

“What does unique mean?” she asked at one point.

“It’s a special kind of different,” a student replied.

Later, she asked about the social-emotional aspects of the story, which required students to pull context cues from the text as well as illustrations.

“What’s a word you might use to describe how he’s feeling right now?” Fishkin asked, referring to the main character.

“Mad,” one student said.

“Left out,” said another.

“I’d use upset,” said a third. “It doesn’t feel nice when someone hurts your feelings. And when someone hurts my feelings, someone will stand up for me.”

When the story was over, Fishkin drew from its theme and asked students to turn to someone next to them and share what makes them unique and special. Fishkin started, telling the students that she loves to play the drums and she has an identical twin sister. Their answers were sweet and wide ranging.

“I can spread kindness.”

“I’m good at math.”

“I have freckles.”

“I have the longest last name.”

Before wrapping up their discussion, Bresnick tied the story back into things students had been learning.

“We’ve talked about how writers often write about their own lives,” Bresnick said. “This book is an example of that. It’s based on a true story.”

This discussion in just a single classroom is a great example of the power of celebrating days like World Read Aloud Day with community members. Students were enthusiastic, engaged and excited to read.

Thank you to the community members who came out to make this day so special:

  • Billy Fortin/Kerry Brugger (The Market/Blind Charlie’s)
  • Melissa Trail (Pound Ridge Recreation Department)
  • Amy Fishkin, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
  • Toni Ann Carey, Director of Special Education
  • Vincent Zafonte (Pound Ridge Fire Department)
  • Kevin Hansan (Town Supervisor)
  • Hannah VanTilburg (Pound Ridge Library)
  • Susan Williamson (Booksey)
  • Ellen Best (Columnist, The Record-Review)
  • Chief Mulcahy (Pound Ridge Police Department)
  • Jason Bowman (BreadsNBakes)
  • Adrienne Viscardi, Director of ESOL
students raise hands to answer a question from Amy Fishkin