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Area Elementary Schools Celebrate National Reading Month 2017

Lizz Milardo and Bryan Kerachsky


Written by Meghan Peterson.

The National Education Association (NEA) created National Reading Month in 1998. Celebrated each March, it usually begins with a kick-off known as “Read Across America Day,” which honors Dr. Seuss’s birthday on the school day closest to March 2 (the famous American writer’s birthday).

In town, Haddam Elementary School (HES) has been celebrating reading in March for at least 20 years. As HES Principal Bryan Kerachsky says, “Having guest readers come into HES is a great experience for the students because they always love to have people read to them.” The reading day is an interactive experience – a mutual exchange of learning and listening. Kerachsky explains that “when we have visitors come in they don’t only read, but the students prepare questions to ask our guests so they can learn more about their job and what they do every day!”

Cat in the Hat at BES

Who were among the guest readers at HES for 2017 National Reading Month? Two lacrosse players from the New England Blackwolves team, First Selectwoman, Lizz Milardo, State Senator Art Linares, and State Representative Bob Siegrist. On March 23, Milardo read to first grade students. At Burr Elementary School, teachers and parents organized a family read night, complete with the Cat in the Hat reading to students.

Meanwhile, at Killingworth Elementary School (KES), students kicked off National Reading Month with a children’s book author, Alan Katz, who spent the entire day at KES. Classroom doors around the school are decorated for the month according to a favorite book or author in that class. A school-wide reading goal thermometer is displayed for the month, showing their progress toward the goal of 1,000 books to be read outside of school for the month. There were guest readers in classrooms throughout the month as well. As Dennis Read, KES Principal describes the day, “it is an opportunity for children and adults to experience the joy of literacy together and to foster a love for reading.”

Reading “Thermometer”

According to the Washington, D.C.-based literacy organization, Reading is Fundamental (RIF), March is National Reading Month, a time to escape the winter doldrums and spring into the imaginative adventures reading can offer. See this link for more information. In addition, an organization called has been marking the month for ten years as National Reading Awareness Month, encouraging parents to read aloud to their children for 15 minutes every day.

Decorated doors at KES