(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, April 1, 2012 ed.)
Councilperson Scott Galloway had always been busy with his legal practice when Reading Day came around, but this year he made it a point to take time off so he could participate. It’s a tradition that every year Roosevelt Primary hosts celebrity guest readers who come to the classrooms and read a storybook to the youngsters.
“This was great,” he said. “I’ve been having so much fun reading to my son Jack, but seeing a room full of kids getting into the story was really neat.” Galloway visited Ms. Rizzo’s second grade class and read several stories from a book called The Stinky Cheese Man. The stories are twisted versions of traditional fairy tales, told from the point of The Stinky Cheese Man, a disgusting parody of the Gingerbread Man, with the character made of cheese with bacon for a mouth. The second graders were standoffish at first, but once one kid came forward and sat on the floor, looking up in awe, the others made their way up too. By the end of a couple stories they were nearly in his lap, and laughing hilariously as they recognized the stories mimicked by the book.
Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Barb Evoe used to be a kindergarten teacher. So when she came to Ms. Keefe’s kindergarten class to read Bee & Me, she did so like a pro. The book teaches youngsters to understand what bees are like so they are less afraid of them. It also has cool graphics that move when the pages are flapped just right, like the wings of the bees in the story. The little readers loved it, and they posed for a picture with Evoe when the story was done.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice M. Kelly was another newbie to Reading Day, and she fielded all kinds of questions from Ms. Monroe’s second grade class. Students wanted to know why she was wearing a robe and if she had to wear it everywhere, like the grocery store. Others asked if she had kids go to court to see which parent they would live with, and if she sent kids to “juvy,” which is slang for juvenile detention.
A seasoned Reading Day celebrity is former Mayor and current County Commissioner Craig Covey. He gave kindergarteners in Ms. Biermann’s class a democratic vote for which story they would like him to read, though he ended up staying long enough for two. More Parts was about a child who took colloquialisms too literally. When told to ‘hold your tongue,’ he literally stuck his tongue out and pinched it. He feared that when his little sister was ‘screaming her lungs out’ that her organs were literally leaving her body, and he certainly didn’t want to ‘crack up’ at a joke. The second book, Enemy Pie, was about a boy who didn’t like another boy, so he conspired with his father to make an enemy pie that would rid him of his enemy forever. The only catch – the boy had to spend the day with his enemy to trick him into coming for dinner and eating the enemy pie. The boy pretended to like his enemy and after a day of adventures together he didn’t hate him anymore. Good thing the pie was really just apple, and that the boys were no longer enemies.
“I love doing this. It’s one of my favorite things I get to do as an elected official. I don’t have any children but I love seeing their bright little minds at work,” Covey said.
Other readers included Superintendent Gary Meier, Rachael Hunter from WYCD radio, Children’s Librarian Joe Miller, Police Chief Timothy Collins and various school administrators and school board members.
Find out more about Ferndale Schools at http://www.ferndaleschools.org.