Literacy is a big focus at Barr Middle School and 17 years ago, Carole Dugan and Dana DeVita began a creative way of bringing reading to the students.
The Annual Barr Read-Aloud Day invites members of the community, business people, elected officials, school educators and administrators to come and read to the middle school students. Every class had a reader. Check out how last year's went in this Nanuet Patch article.
“This year we’re doing something new. The (Barr) PTA bought books and each reader will sign a book that will be distributed throughout the district,” said Dugan, a sixth-grad social studies and science teacher at Barr. “The books are for the elementaries, Barr and the high school.”
“I like what the PTA did with donating those books,” said George Hoehmann, Nanuet resident and Clarkstown councilman. “This is my fifth or sixth year doing this. It’s great when schools do this, but Barr does an exceptional job.”
“The turnout is better than ever. We have a bigger cross section of people from the community this year as readers,” said Roger Guccione, Barr Principal.
If the guest readers didn’t bring a book of their own, books were provided based on the grade level he or she was reading to:
- 5th grade: “The All-American Slurp” by Lensey Namioka or excerpts from Guys Write for Guys Read by John Scieszka or Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
- 6th grade: Boy by Roald Dahl or A long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
- 7th grade: The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck or Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson
- 8th Runaway Rig by Carl Henry Rathjen.
“It’s truly wonderful and appreciated that (they) were all willing to give up their time for this special event and make it possible for the students here at the middle school,” DeVita, Library and Media Specialist at Barr.
“It’s probably as rewarding for me as it is for the kids because of the impact of role models in the community. The kids take in the importance of reading and giving back,” said Lou Falco, Rockland County Sheriff, who has been participating for four years.
The guests didn’t just read; they also spoke to the students about how reading is used in their profession and its importance to being successful in life.
“I’ve been doing this for more than ten years and I’m always impressed by the students,” said Kevin Nulty, Chief of the Orangetown Police Department. “When you read something, they’re interested in it and they ask questions after. It’s great to touch base with a section of the community and make a positive impact.”
“Last year I did this for the first time. It was probably one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do,” said Howard Gerber, Clarkstown Justice Court judge. “I didn’t realize how hard and how much work teachers had to do. My mom’s a teacher. I called up my mom after and thanked her for everything she did as a teacher.”
Here are the guest readers that stopped by Friday morning:
- Chris Carey from the Clarkstown Planning Board
- Alex Gromack, Clarkstown Supervisor
- From the Clarkstown Council: George Hoehmann, Stephanie Hausner, Shirley Lasker
- Paul Valentine from the Orangetown Council
- Officer Doug Arbuco of the Clarkstown Police Department
- Chief Kevin Nulty of the Orangetown Police Department
- The Honorable Victor Alfieri from the Rockland County Supreme Court
- Chief Louis Falco from the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department
- From the Clarkstown Justice Court: Honorable Howard Gerber, Honorable Scott Ugell, Honorable Rolf Thorsen, a representative of the Honorable Craig Johns
- Catherine Nowicki, Economic Development Specialist for the town of Clarkstown
- Lee Cutler from the New York State United Teachers
- Nanuet School Board Member Ed Dingman
- From the Nanuet Schools: Superintendent Mark McNeill, Assistant Superintendent Steven Schlanger, NHS Associate Principal Jim Enright, Barr Principal Roger Guccione, Highview Principal Barbara Auriemma, Miller Principal Betsy Smith, Barr Music Teacher Mike Minard, Barr Teaching Assistant Pam Carcaterra, Barr Reading Teacher Mike Kronberg, Technology Director Ursula Carbone
- From Nanuet Little League: Brian Keill and Brian Condon
- Parent Volunteers: Barbara Irwin and Dominic Ferro