John F. Kennedy students celebrate Reading Week

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Kennedy School Library Media Specialist Andrea Gerstenblatt (left), Assistant Principal Michelle Bell and Principal Ron Gimondo (right) join guest author James Bruchac (center) with fifth-grade students from Jennifer Cottone’s class. (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools District)

From Nov. 18–22, elementary students at the John F. Kennedy School celebrated the building’s annual Reading Week with this year’s theme, “Reading is My Superpower.” The week included a variety of superhero-themed activities and special guests to promote a love for reading.

Students kicked off the week by designing their own superhero capes, personalized with their name and reading superpower. Secret readers, including parents, teachers, and school administrators, also donned capes as they visited classes throughout the week to read books aloud.

Reading Week featured presentations from acclaimed children’s authors who explained how students can use their own reading and writing superpowers to develop creative and powerful stories. Students in prekindergarten through second grade were treated to an assembly with children’s book author and illustrator Peter Catalanotto, who demonstrated how simple moments from everyday life can become an interesting and imaginative story. Third through fifth-grade students met with award-winning author, storyteller, and wilderness educator James Bruchac, who shared how his real-life experiences have influenced his storytelling and writing.

Additional Reading Week activities included: a book buffet, in which students “sampled” a variety of books from different genres; interclass book shares, where older students read to younger students; and pajama day, where students enjoyed reading in their most comfortable clothes along with their favorite stuffed animals.

Reading Week is an annual activity at Kennedy School to support literacy initiatives and develop the students’ love of reading. The event is coordinated by Andrea Gerstenblatt, library media specialist.

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