Local celebrities will be gracing the classrooms at Cooper's Crossing School on Feb. 7 to share their love of reading during "World Read Aloud Day."
World Read Aloud Day is celebrated in more than 173 countries, and students at Cooper’s Crossing will experience the magic by having local celebrities read stories to students from kindergarten to grade 5.
“Students love this event and being read aloud to,” wrote Kari Rushinsky, a teacher at Cooper's Crossing School, in an email interview with the Airdrie City View. “There is often a chance for them to ask questions of their guests as well.”
The school has been participating in the event since 2020, with a break from the in-person portion due to COVID-19 school closures.
“This event really brings the kids closer to the community and allows the community to come into the schools and make connections with kids,” said Rushinsky. “Sometimes the celebrities even meet their biggest fans, and the kids meet their heroes.”
The day will begin with a welcome assembly in the gym, where local country-rock duo, Flaysher, will perform. Following the assembly, celebrities will spend 20 minutes in each class reading picture books out loud.
According to Rushinsky, the Calgary Flames Alumni have always supported the event and this year two alumni, Brent Krahn and Ron Stern, will be reading with the kids.
“This is Brent Krahn's second year joining us,” Rushinsky said. “The mayor and his office staff have also been with us since the beginning. The RCMP always sends a representative as does the Airdrie Pro Rodeo Royalty team.”
Radio host JD Lewis from CJ 92 is returning after participating several times already, while new this year are Flaysher, winners of the Amazing Race Canada 9 Tyler Smith and Kat Kastner, and Hockey Night in Canada announcer and journalist Harnarayan Singh.
“The roughnecks are in the middle of their season, so it is a rare treat for them to be joining us,” Rushinsky added.
Rocky the Raccoon is a favourite among the younger students, according to Rushinsky, while the older students are excited about the sport figures they get to meet.
“Last year we had Kyle Brittain, storm chaser and weather journalist, and he is coming back for something else in our school as well,” Rushnisky said. “The staff and students are very excited about the new additions of Flaysher, Harnarayan Singh, and Ty Smith and Kat Kastner.”
The aim of World Read Aloud Day is to motivate children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words while creating a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people, stated Cooper’s Crossings news release.
The event was created by the non-profit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic.
Along with schools hosting their own celebrations, Scholastic and Storyvoice are hosting seven free live author events featuring top children’s book creators. Go to scholastic.com/worldreadaloudday to learn more.