Guest Readers Help EHPS Celebrate Read Across America Day
Posted on 03/06/2023
Volunteer reads to students on Read Across America Day

East Hartford Public Schools celebrated Read Across America Day on March 2, the nation’s largest celebration of reading. With help from The United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Pratt & Whitney and other community partners, more than 140 volunteers joined us in our classrooms to read to our students.

Volunteers from numerous local organizations, coordinated by the United Way, gathered at the East Harford Community Cultural Center that morning for the event kick-off before dispersing to the district’s elementary schools.

Superintendent Nathan Quesnel expressed his gratitude to the volunteers for spending this time with the students and showing they care.

“When you walk into the classroom, stand in front of a classroom of kids and you tell them what you do as a professional and you show sincere care and authentic love for our kids, you’re going to touch some kid in some way,” he said. “Today you’re going to make a difference.”

East Hartford Chief of Staff Connor Martin shared these sentiments noting how inspiring these visits can be for our students.

“We all know that reading has many benefits including reducing stress, teaching our children new words and improving their vocabulary, teaching us new things and even allowing us to tap into our imagination and become whoever and go wherever we want,” said Martin. “Today the most important thing we want to convey to our children is that reading is fun and interactive and a vital part of living a successful life.”

Volunteers visiting our youngest students around the district read the book “Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry with their classrooms.

Students in grades 3-5 enjoyed the book "Have You Thanked An Inventor Today" by Patrice McLaurin, which celebrates the accomplishments of inventors of color. These books, with a focus on STEM education, were funded in part through a partnership with Pratt & Whitney.

“Our employees are committed to improving the communities in which we live and work. We are particularly passionate about supporting education and the future generation, especially STEM education,” said Pratt & Whitney’s Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Jill Vichi.

At O’Connell School, students welcomed guest readers from Connecticut IB Academy who shared stories in English and several other languages. It was a special visit for many CIBA students who are former O’Connell students themselves.

At Sunset Ridge School, students and staff enjoyed a Read Across America Day tradition of reading in the school hallways.