Reading Starts Here

For Read Across America week, SNJ Today visits two classrooms and polls the students.

In this audio/visual world that society seems to be entrenched in, reading is still fundamental. Last week, the Vineland Public School system once again played a positive part in helping to promote this fact by celebrating Read Across America events in its schools.


KAYLEE McCRAY, 4

Favorite book – The snowman book (actual title is Snow Happy to Be Here).

Why is that your favorite book?
l like that the dog has a hat. I like to make snowmans go sledding.

The annual event, which is held at numerous schools nationwide, began in 1998, when the National Education Association implemented its idea of helping to stimulate young minds, through reading, with this ambitious program.

According to vineland.org, “This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.”

Some Read Across America events that took place throughout Vineland Public In this audio/visual world that society seems to be entrenched in, reading is still fundamental. Last week, the Vineland Public School system once again played a positive part in helping to promote this fact by celebrating Read Across America events in its schools.

The annual event, which is held at numerous schools nationwide, began in 1998, when the National Education Association implemented its idea of helping to stimulate young minds, through reading, with this ambitious program.


MASSIMO NAPOLITANO, 4

Favorite book – Spiders Photo–Fact Collection

Why is that your favorite book? Because it has all types of spiders. [Massimo really, really loves tarantulas!]

Why do you like to read? Because it’s my favorite activity. It makes you think.

According to vineland.org, “This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.”

Some Read Across America events that took place throughout Vineland Public Schools include: We LAVA Good Book! at Durand Elementary School; the Dallago Preschool Breakfast and Books Program, and a Family Fun Night at Petway Elementary School.

Always a fun tradition, there were numerous community members who went to different schools throughout the district, sharing their love for books by reading to many fascinated students.

SNJ Today went to two Vineland schools, DiBiase Preschool and Sabater Elementary, read a few books, had a few laughs, and spoke with teachers and students to compile their thoughts and opinions on the importance of reading.

DIBIASE PRESCHOOL: Adrienne Noon, preschool teacher

In your opinion, how important is it for children to know how to read, and have fun reading, too?


MIA BROWN, 5

Favorite book –Disney Pixar Inside Out, Meet The Emotions

Why do you like to read? It makes me learn.

As a teacher, one of my goals is to instill a love of reading in the children. I try to make reading fun and interactive … I encourage them to participate in reading by interpreting the book illustrations, predicting what might happen next, relating the book to their own personal experiences, ideas that they might have of how to solve a problem in the book.

Do you and your school implement the spirit of Read Across America, which is to “help you motivate kids to read, bring the joys of reading to students of all ages, and make all children feel valued and welcome” throughout the school year?

Our school offers a literacy night in which fun and engaging literacy activities are set up for the students and their families to partake in.

Do you enjoy reading, and if so, what was your favorite book to read as a youngster?


KAYLAN ALLEN, 4

Favorite book –Hot Rod Hamster

Why do you like to read? Reading is fun.

Growing up, my favorite book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I remember the vivid illustrations and the holes in the food just bringing me a lot of joy each time it was read to me.

SABATER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Jackie Farside, 5th grade teacher

In your opinion, how important is it for children to not only know how to read, but to have fun reading, as well?

I think in order for students to become successful in all areas of life, they need to read.

With advancements in technology—cell phones, iPads, video games, etc., these can be major impediments to a student’s reading habits. Do you find it challenging to keep your students engaged in reading? If so, how do you counteract those distractions?

Kids today are so engrossed in social media. A big problem this year is TikTok. The students just want to be able to communicate on social media and worry about making TikToks so that they can get likes and become TikTok famous. It’s hard for any teacher to rein them in to realize that books can take you on an adventure. You may not see too many places outside of Vineland, New Jersey but if you pick up a book, you can see as many places outside of Vineland, New Jersey as you want.


STEFANIA NAPOLITANO, 4

Favorite book –Goatilocks and the Three Bears.

Why is that your favorite book? [Goatilocks] has a beautiful necklace.

[However], technology is important. Every year, we … research a place. They’ll research a place that I assign them like Paris, France or Germany, and they learn about that place. Then they create a Google Slide and share it with everyone. So, technology is important in that sense. I try to tell them don’t waste your life sitting on a phone. There’s a world out there of possibilities and if you stay here (she points to a cell phone) you may never experience [what’s out there].

Do you enjoy reading, and if so, what was your favorite book to read as a youngster?

When I went to Landis and then the high school (Vineland High) I always had a book in my hand. I’ve probably read almost every Stephen King book.

What’s your favorite book now?

I’m not even going to lie right now and you’re probably going to laugh at me, but the Harry Potter series! They’re actually amazing novels. I’ve been slowly reading them in my spare time. [Note: SNJ Today chuckled at her response—jokingly, of course].

Is there anything else you’d like to add about Read Across America, the importance of reading in general, or something we haven’t discussed during this interview?

I don’t think that reading should be celebrated only one week out of the year. I think reading should be celebrated every day in a way that engages kids and makes them want to read.

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