BYRAM TOWNSHIP, NJ - In the library of Byram Lakes Elementary School, about 20 first grade students were dressed up in their pajamas, slippers, and hats, as they read a book to the Byram Township Council and guests on Tuesday, March 5.
In honor of national “Read Across America Day,” which stands behind its slogan of “Grab your hat and read with the cat!” children are encouraged to read and celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which is celebrated throughout the month of March.
The township council set a goal of partaking in activities and programs to make the children of America better readers.
With the help of principal Ed Abato, and first grade teachers Maria Joiner, and Joan Corey, along with the help of Ms. Kris, Ms. Corey and Miss. Rachael, students learned how to read the classical story of “The Sleep Book” by Dr. Seuss.
“We are here to support our first grade students and allow children to read books they are interested in, whether it be a magazine or comic book,” said Abato.
Byram Township Mayor Jim Oscovitch, who was present with the town council stated, “We love you guys and look forward to everything you are going to do in the future.”
Oscovitch demonstrated to the students how a town council works, and what their duties are.
He then had township clerk, Doris Flynn, read out the council members names to show they were present. Present were councilwoman Nisha Kash, councilwoman Marie Raffay, councilman Scott Olson, and councilman Carlos Luaces.
After explaining to the students that the town council takes an oath they must abide by to be a government official, Oscovitch then asked the children to take an oath by raising their right hand, and repeating the following:
“I promise to read
each day and each night.
I know it’s the key
to growing up right.
I’ll read to myself,
I’ll read to a crowd.
It makes no difference
If silent or loud.
I’ll read at my desk,
At home and at school,
On my bean bag or bed,
By the fire or pool.
Each that I read
Puts smarts in my head,
‘Cause brains grow more thought
The more they are fed.
So I take this oath
To make reading my way
Of feeding my brain
What it needs every day.”
Oscovitch then told the students that when he was younger, his favorite book was “Fox in Socks,” by Dr. Seuss. He then lifted up his pants legs, to show the children the fuzzy socks he was wearing.
The children then read “The Sleep Book” to the council and public, while reading a short passage before passing it to the next person in line, as they giggled with big smiles on their faces.
Pages from the book were shown on a television in the library, to go along with the words, as they also used their little hands and bodies to act certain lines out. One girl “shivered” her body so fast, she fell on her bottom and giggled.
At the end, the children related “The Sleep Book” to the short story “Goodnight Moon” by stating, “both books are good to fall asleep to,” and then sang a short song about reading.
Students and guests received snacks and beverages after the presentation.
The presentation was then followed by a council meeting at the muncipal building next door where Oscovitch told the residents about Read Across America, "It is one of the highlights of the year for us."
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