Members of the community come in once a year to read to students in grades 4-6 at the Williams Intermediate School in Bridgewater.
BRIDGEWATER — With a YouTube video of a roaring fire playing behind him, Police Chief Christopher Delmonte read to a fifth-grade class at the Williams Intermediate School Tuesday morning.
The students gathered in a semi-circle at their desks, with Delmonte at the front of the room. He chose to read “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” a story about a dog who determines she is Santa Claus’ canine helper after mishearing a Christmas song lyric on the radio.
A total of 32 readers, both from the community and faculty within the school, participated in the annual reading tradition. Community readers choose a book to read to students in grades 4-6 at the school.
Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District Superintendent Derek Swenson and Town Clerk Marilee Hunt also made an appearance, as well as retired Hunt School teacher Evelyn DeLutis, for whom the school library is named after, along with her late husband, Donald.
In an adjacent classroom to Delmonte, Hunt read “The Quiltmaker’s Gift” and “I Am Human” to students. Swenson chose “The 100th Customer.”
“It’s great because you get the whole community in,” Swenson said.
It’s special for him, as well, as he noted his first job in the district was at the Williams Intermediate School when he was hired as assistant principal in 2008.
Principal Nancy Kirk said this year marked the eighth year of the program.
“We wanted to do something that was a community outreach,” she said. “It just grew. We had some retired teachers who said they’d love to come back and read to the kids.”
It has since grown to parents of current teachers as well, she said.
“We usually don’t have a problem with getting people to fill in,” she said.
With a presentation by fourth-grade members of the school chorus to kick off this year’s event, students then filtered into their individual classrooms with their community readers, who they greeted with homemade signs.
“(The kids) love it!” Kirk said.
Staff writer Corlyn Voorhees can be reached at email@example.com