On March 12, P.S. 81’s two PreK classes worked the red carpet for an audience of adoring fans—their parents, teachers, and P.S. 81 staff. School Manager Zareta Ricks and the amazing team at P.S. 81 put a new spin on the classic Pearson ABC Book photo day, transforming two classrooms into Hollywood backdrops.
For those of you unfamiliar with this program, using a template book, pre-K students create their own ABC reader. On the first day of the program, students are photographed holding colorful props that illustrate different letters in the alphabet—for example, a ball for the letter B, and a flower for the letter F. Parents are invited to join in the fun and be photographed with their children. Once photos are done for each child, we print them out on stickers. On the second day of the program, students stick their stickers into their template book and, P is for presto!, each student goes home with their own ABC book.
Over at P.S. 81, our starlets posed (and played shy) with their zebras and ice cream cones. While waiting for their turn in front of the camera, students read on their own and with volunteers. Asked about her favorite books, Sydney, age 4, said, “Books about Curious George. He’s a monkey. He does bad things and gets in trouble.” Her classmate, Aidan, age 5, preferred Itchy Itchy Chicken Pox and stories about Llama Llama.
On hand to help were a group of international undergraduate and graduate students from Virginia Commonwealth University who had come up for a winter trip to NYC. Eager to add a service component to their trip, they joined in as talent wranglers, photographers and production assistants. While students waited for their turn in front of the camera, they made new friends from Iraq, Columbia, Poland and elsewhere. When everyone had been photographed, the volunteers taught the classes how to say goodbye in their languages. Many thanks to our new friends at VCU!