Hundreds of McVey Elementary school students invaded the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Old Country Road in Carle Place on a recent Monday night for the school’s 4th Annual Reading Party.
McVey PTA member Danielle Sjoholm chaired the event, which comprised arts and crafts, raffles, musical performances and a comedy sketch performed by three local clowns.
The event is not mandatory for the kids, and yet was well attended by students and faculty alike. “It’s a great night to get the kids out and reading,” said Sjoholm, whose daughter Ashlee is a third grader at McVey.
The event is held in partnership with the bookstore — for every purchase by McVey students, part of the proceeds are distributed back to the PTA for its use of children’s programs.
During the party, nearly every student had his or hands full with books that they planned to purchase. Several kids even dressed as their favorite fictional characters for the event. “We have time to see books that we might like, and books we might like that we’ve never seen,” said Justin Tejada, a fourth grader.
The event helps the school kick off Parents as Reading Partners program, a program that further encourages reading among the children.
“Elementary school is a critical time in the development of readers,” said McVey principal Kerry Dunne, who read a children’s book to the large crowd of students. “This is one of the ways we try to inspire the love of reading.”
The McVey school band and orchestra each put on special performances at the bookstore, and Marion Caruso — who works in a hospital by day, and as a clown by night — entertained the kids with a skit she created that emphasized the importance of reading directions. She was aided on stage by her daughters, Skylar and Alexis, both McVey graduates.