Celebration of Reading Day in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD

Wells Elementary School’s annual Celebration of Reading Day took place March 3rd, a day after Theodor Seuss Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) birthday and the national Read Across America Day, March 2nd.  Throughout the morning and into the afternoon students in every classroom were visited by at least one of 50 plus volunteer guest readers.

Wells Junior High School held a similar event on the same day but on a smaller scale for 5th-grade students.  At that school six Wells Rotary Club members and 12 Interact students from Wells High School volunteered to read.

This is not just beneficial to hundreds of students but is a time for various guests from the community and those retired from the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) to donate some time to visit the schools and read aloud a children’s book or two to a classroom of students.

According to Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley, the goal of this special day is simply “to have the community share its love of reading with the students.”  This is Foley’s 29th year organizing the Celebration of Reading Day.  “Thanks to all the guest readers who visited and read to the students,” added Foley

Guest readers at the elementary school this year included Wells Town Manager Mike Pardue, several former WES teachers, a former WES principal, three officers from the Wells PD, (one with a police dog) and a fireman from the Wells FD, grandparents and parents of students, plus many others from diverse backgrounds.

The first Read Across America Day was launched on March 2, 1998.  It was an idea proposed by the National Education Association (NEA).  It remains the largest event of its kind celebrated in schools, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.   

“On Read Across America Day, our Nation recognizes the value of literacy to our democracy,” stated President Joseph Biden in a March 1, 2023 presidential proclamation.   “We celebrate the books that inspire our children to dream big, expand the limits of their understanding, and explore diverse perspectives and cultures through the eyes of others.  We also honor educators, parents, librarians, authors, mentors, and everyone who fosters the power of reading to open doors of opportunity and build greater awareness about the complex world around us.”

In the photo is former WES Ed Tech Selena Nickerson who once worked in the WES Library reading to students on Celebration of Reading Day.

Pictured is former Wells Elementary School Special Education teacher Jane Keane reading a book about dinosaurs to kindergarten students in the WES Library on March 3rd 2023.

Reading the book  “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi” to students of Trevor Hopwood is former WES teacher Donna Longley.