RUMFORD — As part of the Read Across America program, seniors at Mountain Valley High School gave up their study halls to read to kindergarten students at Rumford Elementary School. It was a win-win situation for all involved.

MVHS basketball players William Cunningham, Jacob Theriault, Adam Volkernick and Milo Jodrey donned their warm up shirts and read to Cassie Danylik’s kindergarten class.

Jodrey read “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss and Theriault read “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Cunningham’s book was “Loose Tooth” by Lola Schaefer and Volkernick’s book was “I Will Not Read this Book” by Cece Meng.

At the end of the session, Danylik emailed Principal Matt Gilbert, “Mt. Valley High School has the best students! My kids were so over-the-moon excited and in awe of the big basketball players. They haven’t stopped talking about them.”

She continued, “‘They were really good readers,’ one of my students said.”

The enthusiasm wasn’t just on the part of the younger students. Back at MVHS, the boys were grateful for the opportunity.

Jodrey said, “They were really good children. I would do it again!”

“I have never read ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ so Mr. Danylik [MVHS basketball coach] choose it for me,” Theriault said. “I liked it and the kids did too.”

Cunningham remembered his days at RES, “It was nice to go back to where I have so many good memories. It was great to do something for the kids who are there now.”

Volkernick added, “It’s a great experience to put a smile on a child’s face. I loved interacting with the children and giving them a positive role model to look up to. Knowing you brightened someone’s day really leaves you with a tremendous feeling.”

Later in the day, seniors Abby Day and Chandler Gallant read to Danylik’s afternoon kindergarten class.

According to the National Education Association website, “NEA is building a nation of readers through its signature program, Read Across America. Now in its 16th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.” Events across the country are scheduled for as close as possible to March 2, the birth date of Dr. Seuss.

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