Middle school celebrates World Read Aloud Day

musician holding a guitar gives middle school students high fives in a school auditorium
Sawyer Fredericks greets students after his surprise concert to celebrate World Read Aloud Day.

The Fonda-Fultonville Middle School was treated to a surprise concert by local musician Sawyer Fredericks and special guest readers in classrooms in celebration of World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 5.

Fredericks, a Glen native, is perhaps best known In a school-wide event for grades 5-8, Fredericks read his lyrics before performing each song. Students participated in a Q&A and learned more about Fredericks’ songwriting process and what it’s like to perform. Every middle school student received an autographed copy of Fredericks’ song lyrics to inspire them in their own reading and writing. He autographed more than 400 papers to ensure each student would get one.

law enforcement official in uniform at the front of a classroom reading to a large group of middle school students
Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith reads to fifth graders.

Fredericks’ concert wrapped up a day’s worth of activities coordinated by teachers to celebrate reading out loud.¬†Guests visited in person and by way of technology through video chats.

In teacher Ann Mahon’s classroom, Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith stopped by, and students used a technology platform called Zoom to talk to California-based author Dana Middleton.

Students in Katelyn Fletcher’s classes welcomed guest readers Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio, middle school Principal David Zadoorian, Food Services Manager Vicki Palmer and fourth grade teacher Samantha Stead.

school employee reads to students in the front of a middle school classroom
FFCS Food Services Manager Vicki Palmer reads to teacher Katelyn Fletcher’s students.

World Read Aloud Day is a global literacy celebration that highlights the importance of reading aloud to children and adolescents. Studies show that people tend to stop reading to kids around age six, and then it drops off further at age eight. But reading aloud benefits more than just young learners. It is a research-based, proven way to motivate students to read on their own, model good reading, promote critical thinking and create a sense of community in a classroom. It is considered by some educators to be one of the best ways to help children and adolescents develop word mastery and grammatical understanding.

group of students seated on a floor in front of a screen displaying a video chat
Fifth graders video chat with California-based author Dana Middleton.