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Community Comes to Read at Pound Ridge Elementary

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Pound Ridge community leaders from all walks of life descended upon Pound Ridge Elementary School this week to do a little reading.

The school’s annual Community Read Day brings everyone from police officers and firefighters to business people, clergy and educators into the classroom to read to the students and talk a little bit about their vocations.

“We’ve been doing this for over 10 years,” said school librarian Rina Baldo, as she greeted the guest readers in a back-office reception area on Tuesday morning. “We have a community reader for every classroom.”

Baldo said that choosing the book that each guest will read isn’t always an easy task.

“It’s a thoughtful process,” she said. “We try to match a book with a reader's vocation or something that the kids might be studying in that class. But it gets the people involved with the children.”

The school’s fifth-graders act as student escorts and guide the guest readers from the reception area to the classroom.

Andrea Soleiman, a member of the Pound Ridge Elementary PTA’s Reading Committee said Community Read Day is something the kids look forward to every year.

“They enjoy people coming into the class having some new faces to look at,” she said.

Pastor Lori Miller of the Pound Ridge Community Church was one of this year’s guest readers.

“This is my third year doing it and the kids are great,” she said. “They put up a sign that said, ‘Welcome Pastor Miller,’ and I thought it was nice that they took the time to do that.”

For Pound Ridge volunteer firefighter Frank Sisti, it was his fourth time participating in Community Read Day.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I don’t normally get a chance to meet a lot of these young people, so I like that part.”

Sisti said he tries to use the books he reads to draw life lessons for the students.

“I also talk a bit about the Fire Department,” he said. “Usually, they have a question that I can’t answer – like how many gallons of water are in the fire truck.”

Some of the this year’s community readers included Billy Fortin, owner of Scotts Corner Market; Dave Goldberg, the Pound Ridge recreation director; Laura LaFreniere, manager of Blind Charlie’s Café; Marilyn Tinter, director of the Pound Ridge Library, Jason Klien of the Trailside Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, and Jere Hochman, schools superintendent.

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