Guest Reader Day celebrated at Eastbury School in Glastonbury

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Tue., Apr. 2, 2013
Eastbury School in Glastonbury Guest Reader Day
Glastonbury Little League President Don Longtin reads 'Big Al' to teacher Colleen Moore's second-grade class, as part of Guest Reader Day at Eastbury School on April 2. Photos by Steve Smith.

Eastbury School's Guest Reader Day has become almost like a holiday in the school community. Student Council members look forward to it and can't wait to learn which guest reader they get to interview and introduce, according to the school's librarian, Monica Gardner.

“They love it,” Gardner said. “Many of these readers are people who come every year. I think they enjoy it just as much as the children do. It's the opportunity for the adults to show a love of reading.”

The event is a great way for adults in the community (there were 18 readers this year) to show the students that although they have big responsibilities and busy lives, they still enjoy and appreciate reading. Gardner said the event doubles as an opportunity for the community members to visit Eastbury and see what it's like and what goes on there.

After a morning welcome and interview session, in which Student Council members ask the guests questions like, “What is your favorite book?” and “Have you ever judged a book by its cover?” the students escort the adults to Eastbury's classrooms and introduce them. The guests then read books, selected by Gardner, to the classrooms in each grade level. Some also shared their thoughts about reading.

Glastonbury Little League President Don Longtin asked Colleen Moore's second-grade class what would the world be like without words and books. “Boring,” he said, as he showed them a blank piece of paper. “Without words, that's what life would be. Almost everything I've learned has been through reading. The more you read, the more you learn.”

Board of Education member Rosemary Coggshall read “Rocket Writes a Story” to teacher Mary Andrea's first-grade class. “They loved it. It was perfect for them,” Coggshall said. “It tells you about the different characters. He's very gregarious and loud, but his little friend isn't. She's very shy and demure, but they get to be close friends. There are also a lot of big words – like 'inspiration' and 'captivated.' It's nice to have a story that has a lot of depth to it.”

“I love the language in books,” Gardner said. “That's where kids learn to love words.”

Coggshall said Gardner has her “finger on the pulse” of what each classroom is learning, and is able to select very appropriate books for each one. The students in the class she read to were also very enthralled by the story and couldn't wait to see what happened next.

“They love to have a story read to them. They enjoy it. They just like being read to,” Gardner said. Gardner added that two guest authors have already visited the school this year, and a third – Grace Lin – is scheduled to come in May.

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