World Read Aloud Day brought guests to elementary schools to demonstrate power of reading

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World Read Aloud Day brought guests to elementary schools to demonstrate power of reading

Dr. Maria Thompson, director of humanities, reads to students at Siwanoy School.

Dr. Maria Thompson, director of humanities, reads to students at Siwanoy School.

Dr. Maria Thompson, director of humanities, reads to students at Siwanoy School.

Dr. Maria Thompson, director of humanities, reads to students at Siwanoy School.

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Prospect Hill School buzzed with excitement Feb. 1 when the Grand Hallway as well as many classrooms geared up for World Read Aloud Day. LitWorld started the event because reading aloud is “a powerful and transformative” act. Every February, classrooms and school districts all around the world celebrate reading in creative and exciting ways to bring awareness of literacy.

The fifth graders at Prospect Hill School were read to by Judge John De Chiaro. There was a question and answer follow-up during which time the students asked many insightful questions about De Chiaro’s favorite book as a child, the type of reading and writing he does in his role as a judge, favorite genres as an adult and what led him into a career in law. One year, the judge successfully pushed himself as a reader. He was determined to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record by reading as many books as Ruth hit home runs in a year—sixty.

Other guest readers included Superintendent Cheryl Champ, Assistant Superintendent Seven Garcia, Prospect Hill’s very own Principal Jeannine Carr and her son Hudson, Director of Humanities Maria Thompson, Dr. Thomas Callahan, Pelham Manor Police Chief Jeffrey Carpenter and Detective Jason Carroll. A real treat was when kids read to teachers and faculty.

World Read Aloud Day isn’t just about reading. Before the event, students in the fourth and fifth grades were given a STEAM challenge to design and build a bench out of old, donated books. The first thing they did was plan out a design. Once they got all the measurements, they split up into groups. Each group had its own part of the bench to work on. Once every group finished their part of the bench, they assembled the bench together to make a beautiful bench of books.

Mia Ritossa and Mackenzie Peterson are fifth graders at Prospect Hill School.