Culver School’s remote event highlights reading

In conjunction with Illinois Family Reading Night on Nov. 19, Culver School hosted 15 remote read-aloud sessions for students. The students chose three titles from a variety of fiction and nonfiction books, then listened as 20 teacher volunteers read different selections via Zoom.

Students from preschool through eighth grade were invited to participate in this celebration of literacy, and those who did later received a copy of the book they liked best.

First-grade teacher and reading specialist Dr. Mary Caren D’Anniballe said, “It was an amazing night! How awesome to see smiling faces at bedtime, and so cute to see them in their pajamas.”

Culver enjoys a long-standing partnership with the Niles-Maine District Library, and librarian Mikey Orzechowski — known to students as Mrs. Mikey — also lent a hand during Family Reading Night. She said, “Thank you for including me in this wonderful program! I had a fantastic time reading with our families last night. It seemed to work well from my end, and I'm sure the feedback you get from families will be useful.”

Second-grade teacher Samantha Stoneberg also had some thoughts to share: “Family Reading Night had extra special meaning this year. It provided teachers, parents and students a time to forget about everything going on and just focus on great stories. It was so nice seeing former, current and future students all together.”

Approximately 80 students participated in the event, and reactions were highly favorable. Two second graders are representative: Raegan Walker said, “Family Reading Night was great. My favorite book was How to Catch a Turkey.” Ismail Balogun added, “I liked the books and all the details in them.”

Principal Erica Smolinski summed up the evening by saying, “Students were so happy to enjoy stories. Kids are also loving the books they have received. This is a great way to add to home bookshelves!”