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Brookside Students Travel the World With Books as Their Fuel

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Every student sitting cross-legged on the carpet in front of Brookside Elementary School principal John Wells shot their hand in the air when asked what their favorite part was of the book he read.

The book, “My Big Dog,” had the first-grade students giggling and attentive for the annual day, as part of their read-a-thon.

Wells, who has plans to retire this summer, said each year the school has a different theme for their read-a-thon, this year’s being “Around the World With Books.”

Wells treated the students to the story of a cat named Merl, who becomes disgruntled when a golden retriever takes up residence in his house.

Students’ answers about their favorite part ranged from the antics of the cat to the sweet storyline ending with the cat learning to appreciate his new four-legged friend.

The bulletin board in front of the school displays a tally of the number of books the students have read this far—7,513 as of Wednesday morning—exceeding their goal of 7,000 and giving the story book characters on the wall enough momentum to make it fully around the world.

“The thinking behind it is that around the world not only means you can learn so much about the world by reading, but also through your imagination you can go around the world, you can do anything you want essentially,” Wells said.

Wells expected that the students would beat their reading goal and reach 8,000 by the end of the contest. To culminate the days of reading, Wells was planning to dress up as Curious George, deftly searching for the man in the yellow hat, for the annual assembly that celebrates the student’s reading.

“Every year we do something different, the read-a-thon really is a great thing for the students and the staff,” Wells said.

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