It is said that “it takes a village to raise a child”. The same can be said about educating a child. When home, church, school and community work collectively and collaboratively they can create meaningful experiences for students, while providing exposure to multiple areas of the local community and global society.
A perfect example of this collaboration has been taking place for the past 20 years during the annual Read Across America Day celebration at St. Barnabas Catholic School, IMS. One of their biggest events of the year, the school traditionally invites local politicians, newscasters, police officers and firefighters, as well as friends and family members of the staff, to come into the school to read to and engage with the students.
During the 2019 celebration, which took place on the last day of February, the school was honored with multiple community members, including the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, himself who visited most classrooms and chatted with the students! Other special guests included State Senator, Anthony Williams; Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer, Otis Hackney; Chandler Lutz, news reporter with NBC Channel 3; Hank Flynn & Shawnette Williams, news reporters from Fox Channel 29; IHM Council Member, Sr. Stephen Ann Rodriguez, IHM; High School students from Bonner-Prendie and members of the Philadelphia Screen Actors Guild to name just a few.
These special guests shared their favorite books and their love of reading and learning with the students. For as much as the students enjoy this celebration, it is obvious that these community members love coming in and engaging with the kids; in fact, many of them look forward to returning each year!
We want to thank all of the 2019 St. Barnabas Read Across America guests for their interest and involvement in our “village” and for helping us to expose our students to all the different opportunities available to them while giving them a sense of being part of a broader community.
Oh, the places they’ll go!
About Read Across America Day
Read Across America is an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association that began in 1997. One part of the project is National Read Across America Day, an observance in the United States held on the school day closest to March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, who has authored many children’s books. During Read Across America Day community members visit schools and share their love of reading with students.