On March 2, Emery Park Elementary held their annual Community Read-In event. This event, which annually falls on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, was an opportunity for the Alhambra community to engage with students through a common love of reading.
Volunteer readers gathered in the school library prior to the morning bell for coffee, donuts and to meet their fellow volunteers. These readers came from all walks of life: young and old, working and retired. Many of the readers were also alumni of Emery Park, which added a special homecoming atmosphere to the morning. Among the most prominent of guest readers were AUSD Superintendent Laura Tellez-Gagliano, Assistant Superintendents Laurel Bear and Denise Jaramillo and Board Member Adele Andrade-Stadler. After a brief meet and greet period, Principal Jeremy Ifranca spoke to the readers, thanking them for their time and assistance in promoting literacy within the school. Each volunteer was then assigned a classroom where they read a popular children’s book to classes in two thirty-minute sessions.
Students of all grade levels were eager to meet their guest reader and thoroughly enjoyed listening to them read some timeless classics such as “Lovable Lyle,” by Bernard Webster and “Oh The Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss. This was not only a great experience for students, but also rewarding for the guest readers, who were able to get away from their busy schedules and enjoy the simple pleasure of reading.
After all classroom visits were complete, all guests gathered in the library for a reception to cap off the event. Volunteers came away impressed with the attentiveness and interest that students showed. They had such a memorable experience that when asked if they would come back for next year’s Community Read, nearly all said they would. Emery Park will continue this great tradition of connecting the community with students while promoting the importance of reading.