District Celebrates Read Across America and Draws Attention to the Third Grade Promise

SPOTLIGHT On EXCELLENCE    Issue 24     March 2013

District Celebrates Read Across America and Draws Attention to the Third Grade Promise

 
A record number of about 400 corporate executives and public officials fanned out to every PreK through second grade classroom in Hartford today to read aloud one of the classic children’s books written by the late Dr. Seuss as part of the 16th annual Read Across America celebration spearheaded by the National Education Association.
 
The event, which always takes place during the week of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, is designed to promote reading as a key factor in student achievement.  Thousands of similar reading sessions were held in classrooms, libraries, churches, hospitals and community centers all over the United States.
 
In Hartford, Read Across America took on added relevance because it showcased Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto’s early childhood literacy initiative – The Third Grade Promise – whose goal is to have every child reading at or above grade level by third grade.
 
 “Children reading at grade level by third grade stand an excellent chance of graduating college and having a successful career,” Dr. Kishimoto said. “It fills my heart to know that the city’s families and partners are solidly behind the district’s effort to increase early literacy levels among our youngest students.”
 
The guest readers included employees and officials from the Phoenix, Hartford Hospital, Chubb & Son, Otis, Deloitte & Touche, Aetna, Central Connecticut Area Health Education Center, Achieve Hartford, the Hartford Public Library, Connecticut Humanities, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Pepperidge Farm.  They also included Senior Superior Court Judge Jane Scholl; Superior Court Judge Antonio Robaina.
 
The volunteers fanned out to every PreK through second grade classroom to read aloud a book by the late Dr. Seuss. “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” was read to PreK students; “The Cat In The Hat” to kindergarten students; “Horton Hears A Who” to first graders and “The Lorax” to second graders.
 
More than 6,000 students in 325 classrooms spread over 27 elementary schools were read to as part of the celebration.  The readers began their morning by gathering for a brief ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in Batchelder Elementary School 757 New Britain Ave. Dr. Beryl Irene Bailey, the district’s director of Early Literacy organized sessions.
 
Dr. Kishimoto chats with two Bulkeley Upper School seniors, April Emmanuel and Ronald Teran, who shared their profound experiences about being reading mentors in Hartford with the large crowd gathered to read at Batchelder Elementary School for Read Across America
 
HPS Chief of Staff, Dr. Alex Nardone meets the Cat in the Hat at Batchelder!

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