Working Together for a Bright Future

District celebrates Read Across America

  Students across the district demonstrated their love of reading during Read Across America this month. The event was celebrated over several weeks, with a special highlight for Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, also known as Read Across America Day. 

  Vineland Public Schools is an enthusiastic supporter of the National Education Association's "Read Across America" program, now in its 25th year. This year-round program motivates children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. Reading is an important focus in the early grades, and absent students miss critical instruction time. Research shows that early literacy plays a crucial role in enabling learning experiences that are linked to academic achievement, reduced grade retention, and higher graduation.

  In light of lingering COVID-19 restrictions, many schools opted to host virtual guest readers and more classroom-based activities during their celebratory week. However, much of the same excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the event returned this year. 

   Highlights of the week included:

  • Barse Elementary School kicked off its event with Miss Garden State 2021, Augostina Mallous, who led the school in the Reader’s Oath. Each day had a specific theme and related activity. For example, Monday was silly socks day. Students were encouraged to wear silly or mismatched socks and decorated a sock for display. Tuesday, students voted for their favorite Dr. Seuss book and wore silly hats. On Wednesday, students continued voting for their favorite Dr. Seuss book and wore red shirts for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. On Thursday, Green Eggs and Ham Day, students watched videos on making the egg and ham breakfast. And on Friday, students were encouraged to come to school with crazy hair and got to watch fun videos. 

  • Durand Elementary Schoo:l As one of the most anticipated weeks of the school year, students and staff alike were PHAN-atic for Read Across America Week at Durand Elementary School.  Organized by second-grade teacher, Janeane Camardo, the theme for the week was, "Reading is PHAN-tastic! " In preparation for the celebration, hallway bulletin boards were decked out to capture beloved children’s storybooks!  From The Three Little Pigs to The Rainbow Fish and everywhere in between, taking a stroll through any given hallway was like jumping right into a book!  The week began with a Philly twist!  Students and staff were asked to wear their Phillies Gear or that of the team they were the biggest PHAN of.  On Tuesday, students proved that they were All-Star readers with school-wide DEAR time.  The week continued with a celebration of “Oh the PHAN-tastic Places We’ve Gone!”  Students and staff wore shirts from their favorite spots to visit.  From Hawaii to Punta Cana to Niagra Falls, it was evident that Durand is a school full of travelers.  Each grade level came to the cafeteria to learn a little bit about how principal Dan Greco and assistant principal Brittney Tomlin learned to love reading.  Each administrator shared a story as well.  Mr. Greco read “Scaredy Squirrel” and “I’m Not Just a Scribble” by Mrs. Tomlin.  On Thursday, teachers swapped grade levels and read their favorite stories.  Like all great things, the week came to an end on Friday, but not without a dress-up day and some special treats!  Students and staff were encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook characters.  The hallways were bustling with characters from traditional to modern-day favorites such as Matilda, Goldilocks, Miss Nelson is Missing, Harry Potter, Dogman, and more!   Teachers and staff participated in the dress-up fun too!  Mr. “Big Bad Wolf” Greco and Mrs. “Little Red Riding Hood” Tomlin delivered books to each student along with a delicious Philly pretzel.  It was a week that undoubtedly left students feeling PHAN-atic about reading!

  • D’Ippolito Elementary School created theme days built around different fun topics. For example, Monday’s theme asked students wear a hat or outfit that represented their favorite book character. Tuesday had students reading nonfiction sports books and dressing like a member of their favorite sports team. Wednesday was “See Yourself in Books” day, and students were encouraged to wear something that represents their town or school. Thursday was “silly stories” day, which had students coming to school in mismatched outfits. Rounding out the week was relaxing book day on Friday, with students (and staff!) spending the day in pajamas.

  • Mennies Elementary School held two contests in addition to their theme days. Students participated in a bookmark design contest, with the winner’s bookmark printed and distributed to all Mennies students. Teachers had a bulletin board/door decorating contest, with the winners selected by the guest readers attending on March 4. Theme days included crazy hat or hair day, Grinch day, pajama and crazy socks day, and book character day, among others. 

  • Petway Elementary School celebrated Read Across America with various theme days and goodies to match. For example, on “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” day, all students were encouraged to wear red and blue and received goldfish crackers as a snack. On the Cat in the Hat Day, students were encouraged to wear their favorite/crazy/silly hat, received a gently used book courtesy of the Vineland Education Association, and donated pet food/supplies for the local SPCA. They also hosted a wide variety of guest readers! 

  • Rossi Elementary School welcomed over 70 guest readers to the school on March 1, including parents, previous students, teachers, paraprofessionals, Vineland Police Department, State Tropers, doctors, librarians, and more. Each classroom also participated in a Disney-themed food treat corresponding to a book or movie. We are so grateful for everyone that visited and for all of the hard work students and staff did to make the event such a success! 

  • Winslow Elementary School also celebrated with a theme week, starting with wearing Grinch-green and Whoville hair on Monday, followed by crazy socks and hats day on Tuesday. Wednesday, students were encouraged to wear multi-colored and mismatched clothes, while on Thursday, the halls were filled with animal and camo-print clothing. Finally, on Friday, the school got to cozy up in pajamas to end the week. Winslow also had many guest readers visit on Tuesday, including city and district officials, school board members, members of the Vineland police, fire department, and public library, and many other members from our community. 

  • Dallago Preschool also held various daytime events, including dressing in clothes with letters and words on them, wearing their favorite sports/athletic outfit, and dressing as a character in their favorite storybook while sharing their favorite book with their class! In addition, the school hosted a virtual and in-person Pajama Party with over 300 students and family members in attendance. The event was sponsored by the Vineland Education Association through a FAST grant. Students and their families were able to dance to the music of Yosi and received craft supplies, a pair of new pajamas, and a copy of the board book “Silly Lullaby,” the fourth in the Lena’s Library Legacy in memory of Dallago student Evangeline “Lena” Tietjen.

Click the following link for a gallery of staff and submitted photos from the celebrations: https://bit.ly/3CNuGwC 

Check out a short news piece highlighting the weeks from VPS Broadcasting: https://youtu.be/D6sR5_b4Ud4 

“Wocket in My Pocket” rap from Durand Elementary School music teacher Julia Rodkey: https://bit.ly/3CErJy6