Athol Deputy Fire Chief among army of readers to students

  • Athol Chief Parker with his two classroom greeters who escorted him to class. Left to right, they are Keya Tucker and Sophia White. He visited the first-grade classroom of Mr. Dellecaie and he read to them a book called “Box,” written by Min Flyte and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. Photograph by Mitchell Grosky

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

ATHOL — Athol Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Parker was among the 40 or so volunteers who read to students at the Athol Community Elementary and Royalston Community schools the past week.

The event, coordinated by the Athol Public Library staff and school district, has been held annually since 2003. This year’s event took place on March 2, which was Read Across America Day.

Parker read the book “Box” by Min Flyte and Rosalind Beardshaw, to students in Mrs. Laura Brown’s first grade class. The children’s novelty picture book, about the things children can do with boxes, incorporates flaps and fold out pages.

Parker said, “There were a lot of town officials who read.” Fire Chief John Duguay and Police Chief Russell Kleber were among the celebrities who read to the students.

Parker said the children were very receptive listeners and described the activity with one word “Awesome!” He said it was not the first time he has volunteered on Community Reading Day, and he would do it again. He said some of the readers brought props, and some of the firefighters demonstrated their work gear.

Volunteers also read “Going Places” by Peter Reynolds, to students in grades 2 to 4. “Box” was read to students in grades 1, preschool and kindergarten.

The reading session took place between 9 and 10 a.m. in the classrooms.

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