Juanita Gardine K-8 School students and staff participated in a unique global movement on February 5—World Read Aloud Day—where students, teachers, staff and administrators read stories aloud as a means of promoting literacy.
Librarian Janice Ferdinand, who organized the event at the Richmond school, states, “All readers entered their assigned classes with the same goal in mind—to intrigue their listeners, evoke emotions, and make connections between the spoken and written word.”
According to litworld.org, World Read Aloud Day was founded in 2010 by the LitWorld organization as an “opportunity for people all around the globe to celebrate the joy of reading aloud, and advocate for literacy as a fundamental human right that belongs to everyone.”
Juanita Gardine K-8 took full advantage of that right, with Principal Barbara McGregor leading the charge by reading Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters to 5th graders and Assistant Principal Anna Marie Gordon reading The Rainbow Fish to 2nd graders.
Students played an integral part in the success of the schoolwide activity, with a large number of readers from the school’s service organizations participating, including the Future Business Leaders of America chapter, lead by president, Y’Sean Dee; Early Act president, Anelize Hodge, who read, Mean Jean, the Recess Queen; and the Girl Scouts with Scout Leader, Karen Thomas, who read, Aunt Flossie's Hats. Other student readers included academically talented 5th, 6th and 8th graders, who read a variety of stories.
A special treat came with school counselor Laurise Oliver’s tap dance to the story Rap A Tap Tap with K’Nyla Jones; Ferdinand read The Spider and the Fly to 6th graders and physical education teacher, Kareem Degrasse, read Black Cowboy Wild Horses.
Needless to say, the activity was a hit at the school.
“The looks on the students’ faces were priceless as they listened, laughed, and simply enjoyed a great story,” Ferdinand concluded.