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Third Annual District-Wide Summer Reading Launch Day Heralds the Power of the Written Word

On the playground, in the gym, inside classrooms, and even from the rooftops, a celebration of reading was heard throughout the district on Friday. What a perfect summery day it was to officially launch the third annual event of the GCSD Summer of Reading Program!

Here, there, and everywhere, teachers, librarians, administrators, and representatives from the Greenburgh Public Library (GPL) engaged the students in storytelling and encouraged reading over the coming summer months. The district-supported initiative included providing new books for students to take home with them to read over the summer. The program was created to encourage students of all ages to continue learning about the world, themselves, and others through books. “Summer is a great time for students to utilize their imaginations and to deepen understanding through reading as a way of experiencing new adventures while continuing to build literacy skills,” said Lori D’Andrea, Pre-K-12 Literacy Coach for the Greenburgh Central School District. “Students have the ability to go many places and meet different kinds people all summer long. That’s the power of storytelling.”

On the day dedicated to summer reading, Early Childhood Program (ECP) students enjoyed storytime in the classroom followed by a themed craft project. Kindergarten and first-graders at Lee F. Jackson (LFJ) celebrated the joys of books with the help from Ms. Joanna and Ms. Marina from the Greenburgh Public Library. The students erupted in excitement when the librarians showed them a picture of the library. “I know that place!” cried one student. The librarians talked about the GPL summer reading challenge and led the students in an interactive reading of Pete the Cat: I Love my white shoes. Afterward, in the classrooms, kindergarten teachers read a very special book to the rising first-graders. “Our expert first-graders wrote a book in their own words about what first grade is going to be for them at LFJ,” said Valarie Williams, LFJ reading teacher. “It was a great way for them to showcase how far they’ve come this year and to share it with others.”

Highview took a high view on launch day. Mr. Mastrangelo read to students from the rooftop as they sat on the playground and followed along with their copy of the book. After reading the prologue from The Magic Tree House: Afternoon on the Amazon, he asked the second-graders if they wanted him to read the first chapter to them next. “Yes!” they shouted. “OK, I’ll tell you what, I’ll read the first chapter if you promise to read all the other chapters over the summer,” he replied. After the read-along, students enjoyed ice pops on the playground courtesy of the PTA. 

Special reading guests from GPL and activities such as making bookmarks, reviewing the summer reading choice board project, book talks, reading games, and signing pledges took place at Richard J. Bailey and Woodlands Middle High School. 

The younger students were eager to keep the conversation going even after the events finished, and their insights were priceless. “I like to read because it’s lots of fun, and you get to figure out a lot of new things about the world that you might never have seen,” said Mischa, a LFJ first-grader.  To which, Mischa’s classmate, Jaci, added, “I like reading books because it makes my brain stronger.”

More information, including book lists and resources, can be found on the District’s Summer of Reading website.

See more photos from Friday's kick-off on our Facebook Album!