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State of the State / State of Our Children

Dr. Wood reading to students from the Campus Fun and Learn Center

One of my favorite activities each year is when I am invited by one of Rockland County’s public schools for the annual “Rockland County Read-In.” On Friday, February 13, I had the opportunity to read to a first grade class at Summit Park Elementary School in East Ramapo. The school is clean, bright and cheerful, and when I entered at 8:30 AM, there was clearly a high level of energy and enthusiasm for the day’s activities. I was immediately met by the school’s librarian who led me to a display of books, where I selected one appropriate for first graders. A poised and well-mannered third grader then escorted me to Cynthia Norman’s classroom. What I found there were 28 lively first graders, all having breakfast provided by the school district. I also learned that for 12 of the 28 children, English was not their first language. It was clear, after a few minutes, that Ms. Norman is a skilled and seasoned teacher who moves about the classroom, actively engaging all the students in the day’s activities.

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