Cider Mill students get ready to listen

The Wilton Education Foundation (WEF) has expanded its popular and successful Read Aloud Day to a second date at Cider Mill School on Monday, May 13, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The event already took place this past fall at Miller-Driscoll.

Read Aloud Day, in its 19th year, brings members of the community into the classroom to not only encourage children to read but to promote “every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.”

According to the foundation, Read Aloud Day demonstrates “to Wilton’s children that the community as a whole supports their future: they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world. By having notable individuals take an hour from their demanding schedules to read stories aloud, Wilton’s youth see for themselves the power of the written and spoken word, especially the words that are shared from one person to another.”

Village Market sponsors the literacy initiative annually, contributing funds to provide book titles hand-selected by Cider Mill librarians for each grade, which are then donated to the school’s library. The foundation invites members of Wilton’s business community, government, volunteer and non-profit organizations, school staff and administrators, and town residents to participate.

Readers arrive at 8:30 to check in and be given the book for their appointed grade. Each person is assigned to a classroom and taken by a designated student or two to their destination. The reader greets the children, reads the story, and answers any questions the students may have, which may or may not pertain to the book.

“The Wilton community continues to embrace Read Aloud Day enthusiastically,” said event chair and teacher, Marybeth Gioffre Nisco, “The popularity of the program signifies the respect and value our town places on literacy.” She added, “While the children’s faces light up the minute the reader enters the classroom, it’s the random questions asked of the reader post-story that keeps the volunteers laughing and returning each year.”

The current roster includes School Superintendent Dr. Gary Richards, First Selectman Bill Brennan, and Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of the Wilton Library. Some of last fall’s volunteers included Senator Toni Boucher, State Rep. Gail Lavielle and Wilton Fire Capt. Kevin Czarnecki. To date, there are a few reader openings remaining. To secure a spot, contact Marybeth Gioffre Nisco, event chair, via the Read Aloud Day page on the foundation’s website,