The kindergarteners through third-graders at Fair Haven School read 1,814 books since Dec. 22 — and they kept the number growing on Thursday.
The students made a paper bracelet for every book they read. The classes then made chains of those bracelets. As the Jeapordy! theme music played, they unfurled the chains at a ceremony Thursday morning as they participated in New Haven’s edition of World Read Aloud Day. Similar ceremonies were held in schools throughout the city, where adults visited to read aloud to children. The theme this year was “Read Aloud. Change the World.”
The ceremony included an announcement of which classroom had read the most books in each grade. Colleen Zona’s kindergarten class came in second to Mr. Genn’s, whose kids read 242 books. Anna McCarthy, who teaches a dual-language kindergarten, had kids who read 82 books in English and scores of others in Spanish.
The month-plus-long challenge motivated the kids, and in general book reading and library circulation are way up, according to Fair Haven School Library Media Specialist Lynne Virtue and Principal Heriberto Cordero. Library circulation from September through January was 905 books during the previous academic year. During the same period this year, that total climbed to 3,031, for a whopping 235 percent increase, they reported.
Kindergartner Roderick Castillo said enjoyed reading the story of The Three Little Pigs, although he thought one of them really silly. In fact, that’s actually why he liked the book.
As the celebratory convocation broke up, Zona turned down the Jeopardy music and declared, “This doesn’t mean you stop reading.”
Click on the Facebook Live video to watch an interview about Read Aloud Day and New Haven public schools reading efforts with literacy coaches Jennifer Wells-Jackson and Robyn Sweet and Lauren Canalori, a district-wide supervisor, on “Dateline New Haven.”