This spring, a group of Princeton Day school juniors—Owen Clingman '22, Jackson Cook '22, Lily Nyce ’22, Dhruti Raghuraman ’22, Connor Topping '22 and Rebecca Willner '22—volunteered to share books and read aloud with Lower School library classes as part of the Read Across America initiative. Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading.
Each junior read during class time via Zoom or pre-recorded video read-alouds of children's books that were shared in US Librarian Amy Matlack's library classes. "The Lower School students have loved seeing the Upper School student readers. It's been great to have this moment of connection and community between the two divisions in the midst of a year where that typically wasn't possible in person [due COVID protocol-required closed 'student bubbles' in each division]," Ms. Matlack shared.
Ms. Matlack also credited Lily and Dhruti, the Service Learning representatives for the Class of 2022, with leading the effort to organize volunteers and coordinate the project.
"I was very excited to participate in the Read Across America effort this year because I really enjoy reading and I wanted to share that interest with others! As service learning representatives, Lily and I are really keen on creating similar projects to help the Lower School faculty and students," Dhruti said.
"I loved participating in Read Across America! The sense of community at PDS between all School divisions has always been strong during my time here. As a result of the pandemic, that sense of community has changed but in no way disappeared. Even though we weren’t directly interacting with the lower schoolers, it was so refreshing to have that sense of community restored," Lily added.
Below is a 5-minute video compilation of Connor, Dhruti, Lily, Jackson and Owen's read alouds. Visit the Library landing page to see the juniors' full read-aloud videos for Lower School students and to learn more about PDS library resources.