Atlanta Board of Education Members spent some quality time Thursday reading to the littlest of Atlanta Public School students, the pre-kindergarteners, during Read for the Record® 2015.
#ReadfortheRecord, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Thursday, is a worldwide campaign designed to bring awareness to the importance of high-quality early learning, by mobilizing millions of children and adults to take part in the world’s largest shared reading experience. The event is organized and coordinated by Jumpstart, a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods.
This year’s #ReadfortheRecord initiative featured the book Not Norman: A Goldfish Story (written by Kelly Bennett, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones), which tells the tale of a little boy who eventually learns to love his pet goldfish, Norman. Atlanta Board of Education members appeared just as excited about the book as the pre-K students.
All told, seven Board Members and Board Executive Director Howard Grant, Ph.D., visited 14 schools and read to nearly 300 pre-K students:
|Cynthia Brisco-Brown||E. Rivers (Two classes)|
|Courtney English||Finch, Hope-Hill|
|Jason Esteves||Bolton Academy|
|Leslie Grant||Benteen, Slater, Thomasville|
|Steven Lee||Adamsville, Scott|
|Matt Westmoreland||Burgess-Peterson, Toomer, Whitefoord|
At Finch Elementary, Board Chair Courtney English asked his group of pre-K students if any of them had pets. Most all raised their hands, shouting out everything from dogs to birds.
“Does anyone have a fish?” English said while cracking open the book. “Well, that’s the pet we’re going to read about today.”
At Burgess-Peterson Academy, District 3 Board Member Matt Westmoreland prefaced his reading by asking the students about Halloween and the costumes they plan to wear.
“Anyone going to be a fish? How about a goldfish?” he asked. Some in the crowd of four-year-olds cheered, “Yes!”
“Well, that happens to take us right into something I’m going to read to you right now,” Westmoreland said, as he reached for the book.
Later, as he reached a point in the book where a snake appears, Westmoreland asked the kids: “What would we do if we saw a snake right here in the classroom?”
“Call the Police!”
“Call Animal Control!”
“Animal Control?” Westmoreland responded in surprise. “This is definitely one smart pre-K class!”