Students at Burbank Unified elementary schools celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday and National Read Across America Day during the first week of March with Read In Day, held on different days of the week for the various schools. Visitors from the community stopped by classrooms to share their favorite books with the youngsters.
Students at Roosevelt Elementary kicked things off with their annual Community Read In Day on Monday, March 2. Principal Matt Osmond welcomed Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer, former Mayor Michael Hastings, City Clerk Zizette Mullins, Burbank Fire Battalion Chief Mark Hatch, BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill, Assistant Superintendent Debbie Kukta, Jordan Middle School Principal Jennifer Meglemre, Luther Middle School Principal Oscar Macias, representatives from UMe Credit Union and Burbank Arts For All along with other members of the community.
“This day provides the children the opportunity to hear adults read and to learn about how reading impacts their careers,” commented retired Roosevelt teacher Linda Walmsley, who coordinated the event for Roosevelt. “Each guest read a book from the school’s library that had a focus appropriate to the grade level of the class. The guest reader then talked to the students about the importance of reading as it relates their success in the workplace.”
Miller Elementary held their annual Read In and Pajama Day on Thursday, March 5. Principal Judy Hession greeted 38 guest readers including Board of Education President Armond Aghakhanian, Muir Middle School Principal Greg Miller and four retired Miller teachers: Mike Hammell, Darla Marquis, John Ossiff and Mary Schindler.
Burbank Police Officers Karissa Peltier and Rashaad Coleman, Burbank Public Library Youth Literacy Librarian Jenny Darwent, Burbank Arts for All Foundation’s Arza Variscic and Saundra Montijo, former NASA rocket scientist Kevin DeBruin, Miller PTA President Katharine Moser, Team Jaguar Fundraising Committee Chairperson Liga Zervena, and 24 Miller parents also joined the Miller staff and students.
“Our guests were invited into the classrooms to read to students and to talk about what they do and why reading is so important,” Miller explained. “It is our hope that students may be interested in a job or a career in the field of their reader as well as realize how vital reading will be in their future.”
“This is always one of the school’s favorite days.” she added. “We get to read and we get to do this in our pajamas!”
McKinley Elementary held their Community Read In Day on Friday, March 6. Principal Liz Costella noted the guest readers included Board of Education President Armond Aghakhanian and Vice President Steve Fritner, BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill, Assistant Superintendent Sharon Cuseo and several other district administrators, along with Jordan Middle School administrators.
City officials such as Mayor Sharon Springer, City Attorney Amy Albano, Parks & Rec Director Judy Wilke, City Manager Justin Hess and Director of Community Development Patrick Prescott also stopped by the school to read to the children.
“Police Chief Scott La Chasse also joined us, which is always a hit with the students,” commented Costella.
Other organizations represented at McKinley’s Read In Day were Burbank Arts For All, Burbank Public Library, Garri Dance, IKEA and Burbank Kiwanis.
“We love seeing community members join us for this event,” Costella also said. “The students love having them read and share about their jobs and connections to our community. The students talk about this day for weeks and can’t wait to share with their families about their special guest.”