The Eastern Suffolk BOCES Westhampton Beach Learning Center (WHBLC) hosted a D.E.A.R. Day. D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read and is dedicated to children’s author Beverly Cleary. D.E.A.R. Day comes once a year in April, but everyone is encouraged to do it everyday!Staff and students at WHBLC believe that reading is very important and are committed to its importance in their ELA curriculum. Reading nourishes the mind and soul, encourages the imagination, and increases our hunger for knowledge.Guest Readers were invited to D.E.A.R. Day, adding to the excitement of the day for the students. Some studies show that having guest readers visit classrooms can mean increased reading scores and improved attitudes toward reading.Fran Knoedl, Public Relations Specialist, Supervisor from the Office of Communications and Kathleen Wojchiechowski, Program Administrator for Regional Grant Services were among more than twenty people invited to read. Other guest readers included District Superintendent Ed Zero, Assistant Superintendent of Management Services Barbara Salatto, Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie Lutz and other ESBOCES administrators, teachers, and support staff.The students in Ms. Jodi Pidgeon’s class were excited to see Ms. Wojchiechowski again and were especially pleased that she read one of their favorite books, Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton. They presented her with a special thank you card, which read, Thank you for coming to our class and reading us a story. We really appreciate your kindness.
Ms. Wojchiechowski reads the thank you card made by the students.
Ms. Knoedl read There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly…, and Eric Carle’s, From Head to Toe, to Ms. Yasmin Heasley’s class. Both books gave the students an opportunity to sing and interact with the stories.The Westhampton Beach Learning Center program services students with pervasive developmental disorders, autism, and developmental disabilities from five to 21 years of age.