BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – Berkeley Township School Board President Jennifer Bacchione started Wednesday off with a virtual reading for district children. The district, like many others at decided to keep Dr. Seuss as part of National Read Across America Day despite a national trend to distance educators from the beloved children’s author.
On Tuesday, it was Crazy Sock Day in the district and students showed off their best Dr. Seuss mismatched and crazy socks. It was also Top Hat Tuesday at the Potter School.
Like other districts in the area, the Berkeley School District managed to celebrate Read Across America Day with a healthy mix of Dr. Seuss and opportunities for students to learn about the cultural diversity around them.
Today, school board member Douglas Bowens read “The Tooth” to students across the district.
The virtual reading sessions by school board members was the idea of Bacchione who wanted to make sure the spirit of Read Across America Day was kept alive in the district.
“One of the highlights this year is for the board members to be able to read to the kids directly,” Bacchione said. “It’s sad that the last thing we did before the schools closed for COVID-19 last year was Read Across America.”
Bacchione said her district did not get involved in the political nature of what’s going on with Read Across America this year, saying the day is about encouraging children to read books and enjoy reading books and not to tell kids which books they should or shouldn’t read.
“The students picked their own favorite books and we let the kids make their own decisions,” Bacchione said. “I don’t think we should be involving the kids in anything political because the day is about getting the kids to read and getting them to love and enjoying reading.”