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City Officials Read to Norwalk Pupils

More than a dozen city and school officials took time out of their day last week to promote reading at Wolfpit Elementary school. Wolfpit held its annual Read Across America celebration Tuesday, March 29, and third-grader Anthony Milone was struck that "important people" like Mayor Richard Moccia and State Sen. Bob Duff came to his school. "If it was not important to read, I do not think they would take time to come to our school," said Anthony.

At a kick-off assembly, Norwalk school literacy specialist Jean Evans-Davila read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss in full costume.  She shared a message about the importance of caring for the Earth. After the assembly, the officials went to the classrooms and read a book and discussed their own feelings about the story.

"This event has become an annual favorite at Wolfpit School," says Donna Hempstead, a third grade teacher who organized it along with literacy coach Linda DiMeglio. "Our students love to have special guests read to them, and our [Read Across America] celebration allows children  to see that reading plays an important part in the lives of prominent community leaders."

Read Across America, a reading motivation and awareness program, was founded by the National Education Association . The idea emerged in 1998 as a way to honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2. Every year, schools and libraries across the country celebrate Read Across America as a special day to promote reading for children of all ages.

Attendees from the community included State Rep. Bruce Morris, Sen. Duff, Mayor Moccia, Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, Norwalk Probate Judge Anthony DePanfilis, Police Chief Harry Rilling, Deputy Fire Chief Edward Prescott and Sherelle Harris, children’s director at the South Norwalk Branch Library. Other participants represented Norwalk Public Schools’ central office administration: Jean Evans-Davila, language arts instructional specialist; Patti Mattera, district literacy coach, and Carol Marinaccio, director of elementary education. Board of Education members Steven Colarossi, Susan Hamilton, Sue Haynie, and Erin Halsey were also present.

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