Edison Elementary Celebrated Read Across America Day with Community Readers

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Dr. Macias, Julie Markussen and Laura Flosi. Courtesy of Rebekah Burcham.

Burbank schools celebrated Read Across America Day on March 2nd by bringing in parents and community liaisons to read to students in their classrooms.  The day is recognized each year on the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, in an effort to encourage reading and improve literacy. 

Thomas Edison Elementary Library Coordinator, Rebekah Burcham, organized her school’s celebration by inviting community readers to each and every classroom. “The read alouds inspire wonderful and vibrant conversation,” said Burcham. Many of the guests invited were teachers, principals, Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) employees, and Burbank Teachers Association (BTA) board members.

Principal Laura Flosi on the Story Walk. Photo by Ashley Erikson.

Readers included: Diana Abasta, (former BTA President and retired high school English teacher,) Nicole Drabecki (current BTA president and PE teacher at Huerta Middle School,) Robin Hatch (Principal at Huerta,) Steve Hubbell (Principal at Luther Middle School,) Dr. Macias (BUSD Director of Secondary Education, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,) Carolyn Perlstein (retired Edison 4th grade teacher,) Talin Manigolu (District Director for Senator Portantino’s office,) Nurse Brooke (BUSD Nurse,) Julie Markussen (Director of Student Services,) Jessica Palaski (AP of Athletics and Activities at Burroughs High School,) Jennifer Flores (Edison’s Curriculum Specialist,) and Alicia Getz (Edison’s Office Manager.) 

In honor of Read Across America Day, the BTA collaborated with Edison on a “Story Walk,” where pages of a book were hung on display along the Chandler Blvd. school fence.  The vibrant and colorful pages of “Dream Street,” by Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes, is laminated and hung along the outside of the school for anyone to walk by and read through the month of March. BTA President Nicole Drabecki and Edison Principal Laura Flosi, escorted a 1st grade class outside for the story walk and took turns reading pages of “Dream Street,” to the students.  

Burbank Teacher’s Association President Nicole Drabecki. Photo courtesy of Rebekah Burcham.

At the end of the day, the school organized a “Stop, Drop, and Read,” where classes were invited to sit outside their rooms in the hall and read with their friends. “One of my favorite parts of the day was when a beloved retired 4th grade teacher stopped by and surprised her now 5th graders,” said Burcham. “She read to each of our 5th grade classes and they were so happy to see her. It was a joyful reunion!” 

Edison’s Read Across America day proved to be a huge success and achieved unity between the students and staff with esteemed leaders of neighboring schools, the district, and the teacher’s association.