Burbank Celebrates Read Across America Day

By On March 9, 2015

Members of the Burbank community visited public schools to highlight the Read Across America program on Friday, March 6. Special events were also held during the first week of March at the Burbank Public Libraries to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and promote literacy.

Burbank Fire Fighter Jon Stockton reads to a first grade class at Edison Elementary School. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Fire Fighter Jon Stockton reads to a first grade class at Edison Elementary School. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank firefighters visited McKinley and Edison Elementary Schools, including several off-duty firefighters who volunteered their time to read to the children.

“We’ve been doing this for several years,” commented Eric Rowley, President of the Burbank Firefighter Association. “For us, any interaction we can have with the public, especially children, we seek out to establish and maintain a good relationship with the community.”

“Anytime we can be a positive role model to children, we like to do that,” he added.

Kimberly Clark read to students of Ms. Ta's class. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Kimberly Clark read to students of Ms. Ta’s class. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Several Burbank Unified officials visited elementary school classrooms throughout the city.

“As a member of the administrative team working out of the district office, I seldom get a chance to visit school sites during the day,” said Kimberley Clark, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and BUSD Public Information Officer. “Read Across America is one of my favorite days of the year because it gives me a chance to personally connect with our students.”

“Ms. Ta’s students were quiet and respectful and thanked me for coming. During the question and answer period, each child told me the title of his or her favorite Dr. Seuss book,” added Clark, who read Seuss’ Fox in Socks to the second-graders.

 Dr. John Paramo read a classic. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Dr. John Paramo read a classic. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is really a special event and Darla Gerharter, the Read Across America program coordinator for Disney Elementary School, does a marvelous job organizing this event for her school every year,” Clark also said. “It was an honor to be asked to participate again this year.”

BUSD Director of Secondary Education, Dr. John Paramo, and Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Dr. Tom Kissinger, read at three elementary schools: Edison, McKinley and Disney.

“The class that stood out for me the most were the fifth-graders in Roseann Webb’s fifth grade class at McKinley,” commented Dr. John Paramo, BUSD Director of Secondary Education. “I read them the story Max’s Words.”

“The class was phenomenal. The level of questioning and engagement was nothing short of stellar,” Paramo added. “The teacher has obvious taught these students well and with rigor for them to be able to interact and engage the way they did.”

“The experience inspired me and made my day completely. I am so proud of the teacher and the students who are clearly ready for middle school. GO McKinley!”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Dr. Tom Kissinger peruses the book selection. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Kissinger read The Lorax to Mr. Engel’s fifth-graders. At McKinley, he read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to Ms. Pohlman’s class. He read Green Eggs and Ham to a first grade class at Disney Elementary.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for community members, parents, and District staff to engage in the promotion of literacy for elementary grades students,” commented Kissinger. “Every year, I look forward to this event.”

Now in it’s 18th year, Read Across America is a literacy program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.