The Coastal Star



By Dianna Smith


Inside this beautiful school by a crystal blue sea are children who love to read.


Mysteries, thrillers, fantasies — anything and everything that will draw them into another world, far from the cares of everyday life. The teachers at Gulf Stream School
know this, which is why the theme this school year has focused on reading and
teaching kids to love it even more than they do now.


Teachers took pictures of all 250 students and asked them about their favorite books. And what were there answers? Some included Diary
of a Wimpy Kid
, the Harry Potter series and, of course, the ever-popular Twilight books.


“It’s so important to read,” Principal Joseph Zaluski said, “and for parents to read to their children. I truly believe that’s an experience children never forget.”


Some days the school has sustained silent reading mornings, when students are asked to drop whatever they are doing and read. The holiday program this school year
focused on reading and the teachers themselves even got into the theme, by
starting a book club last summer.


And every month, teachers print signs on their classroom door to announce the books they are reading.


Teachers and students even exchanged books.


And the older students read to the younger students.


“The older kids like to set a good example when you give them the opportunity,” said Latin teacher Giulia Fiorile.


Ask these students what kind of books they like and the answers will vary. From the pre-kindergarteners to the eighth-graders, every growing boy and girl has a
favorite they like to dive into when given the chance.


Five-year-old Mason Delafield said she enjoys all kinds of books and she reads to her mom almost every night. It’s good to read at night, she said, because reading calms
her down.


If students want to search for more books, they can always go to the school library, where more than 12,000 books are on hand. School librarian Betsy Tyson
hopes the children learn to love reading as much as she does.


“The smell of a new book with crisp pages …” Tyson said fondly, “and you can’t cuddle up with a Kindle.”


Fifth-grader Michael Certo said he has trouble putting a book down once he’s started reading it. So when he says goodnight to his parents and the lights are out, he can’t
help but sneak a peek at what happens next!


“I know something is going to happen,” Certo said. “It’s amazing.”

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