From bow ties to frilly dresses, students at East Haddam Elementary School made an effort to don their fanciest attire this Read Across America Day to welcome a very special guest, “Fancy Nancy” author Jane O’Connor. O’Connor read her latest, and last, Fancy Nancy book, “Oodles of Kittens,” to students, answered their questions, and showed them how to walk in a “fancy” way while balancing a banana on their heads.
“All of our students were encouraged to dress fancy today to welcome our author,” said library media specialist Lisa Chlebowski, who organized the visit to the K-3 school. “They’re super excited to find out what it’s like to be a writer and how Jane O’Connor was able to write her books.”
“To have an author come in and talk about her life is so important and so exciting for the children,” said second grade teacher Maryann Caron.
Prior to the author visit, guest readers read books aloud in many classrooms. CEA Attorney Melanie Kolek read Robert McCloskey‘s “One Morning in Maine” to Caron’s second graders. She figured they could identify with the main character, Sal, who loses a tooth.
“Reading is the essential building block of a great education in our great nation,” Kolek said. “It’s just so wonderful to see the expressions on children’s faces when you’re reading to them and they escape into this other world that the author brings them into.”
To close out Read Across America Day, teachers planned a reading buddy afternoon where children had a chance to enjoy books together with students from other grade levels.
“They absolutely love reading to others,” said third grade teacher Lisa Cahill. “We have kids that get together with students from other grade levels and read Dr. Seuss books to each other. They love showing off their reading skills.”