Celebrating a Community of Diverse Readers

We traditionally send students to school so they can learn to read, write and do arithmetic. But rarely do we stop and examine “What is the real value of reading?” Of course, reading enables our students to grow up and pursue careers in their chosen fields of interest. However, here at Parker we believe that reading has more intrinsic value than as just a means to an end. Reading enriches our students’ lives in the here and now by developing their language skills, exposing them to new worlds and ideas, and letting their imaginations run wild. That is why, every year, we chose to celebrate our students’ love of reading with our annual Read Across America Day.
Read Across America Day is a true celebration of literacy. Our morning started with lively greetings all around and much excitement about what costumes each child was wearing. Students delight in seeing the clever and artful costumes that their peers have pulled together. The joy becomes intergenerational as our youngest students join with their older buddies, and together we all participate in a costume parade! Afterwards, our buddies me in the lower school classrooms, and students get right down to business sharing favorite books.
Throughout the day, various classes also participated in their own, unique celebrations of literacy. For example, Debbie’s 1-2 class had a special visit from Leroy Ninker, who tried to steal the supplies for their lunch party. Luckily, Officer Tomilello saved the day and lunch was joyous celebration of hot-buttered toast!
Students also celebrated passing on the joy of reading by participating in a book swap. A special thank you goes out to The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza for donating two boxes of books to get us started! We were also treated to a sneak peak of our upcoming musical as all our 8th graders dressed in costume for the day, making a tremendous splash at our parade.
RAAD is a highlight of the year for students but it is only one aspect of Parker’s rich language arts curriculum. Our school culture cultivates active readers, writers, listeners and speakers. Beginning in Pre K, our students develop an identity as readers and writers, and continually work to develop their full potential as such. Everyone will be ready for a good bedtime story tonight!