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Yorktown Leaders Read to Lakeland Students

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. — There were more than two dozen Thing 1s and Thing 2s in the cafeteria of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School Friday, as the world of Dr. Seuss came to life for some students who dressed up and made bookmarks for the school’s Readers are Leaders Day, in conjunction with the author’s birthday.

In Mrs. Nicholas’ classroom, students sat at their desks – each with their eyes reading a book of their choice – before darting their eyes toward the door as they waited for someone to come read to them. Different community members, like school board president Elizabeth Kogler, local members of the armed services and public safety officials took part in the day to read to the children.

After a few minutes of scanning the pages and looking at the door, the students met their guest: Angel Garcia, a police officer with the Yorktown Police Department and school resource officer in the middle school. He stood feet above the fourth-grade students, but heightened his voice and lowered his boom to read to the children.

“They say it all started when Gerald was two—That’s the age kids start talking—least, most of them do. Well, when he started talking, you know what he said? He didn’t talk words—he went ‘boing,’ ‘boing’ instead,” read the police officer.

Garcia treated the students to his “boings,” honks and other sound effects in Seuss’ book “Gerald McBoing Boing,” the story of a boy who only spoke in sounds and not words—sounds Garcia was apt to make to the delight of his fourth-grade audience.

For Garcia, the day served a two-fold purpose, he was able to participate and read to the kids, but as a school resource officer, he said it also gave him a way to connect with the kids inside the classroom so they become familiar with him.

“It’s a good break for us because we get to see the good we get to see the smiles we get to see everything we do our job for, and that’s everything with protecting the little kids,” Garcia said.

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