Massapequa’s Lockhart Students Inspired By Reading Role Models

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Lockhart Elementary School welcomed author Darren Sardelli, second from left, for Pick A Reading Partner week. Joining him were library media specialist Tara
Gonzalez, left, Principal Dr. Michael Yannucci, Assistant Principal Louisa Vecchione and first grade students.

Author Darren Sardelli’s humorous poems delighted students at Lockhart Elementary School in the Massapequa School District, as his visit was the centerpiece of the Pick A Reading Partner program.

Mr. Sardelli visited the school during PARP week, a literacy partnership between the school and the PTA. During a pair of assemblies, he told students of his journey to become a published author, shared many of his original poems and discussed the writing process. His greatest message to students was that they should never be afraid to share their great ideas.

“Work hard, never give up,” students shouted out at his direction.

Superintendent Dr. William Brennan was a guest reader in a kindergarten class.

Mr. Sardelli discussed the importance of illustrations in children’s books and how pictures should match the words. He asked students to close their eyes and “illustrate in their mind” as he recited a poem.

Library media specialist Tara Gonzalez said Mr. Sardelli connected well with Lockhart students through his engaging presentations. The goal, she said, was to foster both a love reading and writing.

Author Darren Sardelli talked about his poems during an assembly for grades 3-5.

“I want them to connect with a real author who has the same background as them,” she said, noting that Mr. Sardelli is from Long Island. “I hope they will want to become authors themselves.”

PARP week also included special guest readers in classrooms, including Superintendent Dr. William Brennan and other central office administrators. Children were encouraged to read at least 15 minutes a day and keep a reading log.

Diana Haanraadts, assistant to the superintendent for instructional services and general administration, read to a kindergarten class. (Contributed photos)

There were also Dr. Seuss-themed spirit days. Students and teachers celebrated “Cat in the Hat” with a hat day, “Fox in Sox” by wearing crazy socks and the fictional town of Whoville with crazy hairdos.

–Submitted by the Massapequa School District

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