DERRY | Nine-year-old Jordan Puzzo greeted guests as they entered Derry Village Elementary School, announcing it was a great day for some reading out loud.

The fourth-grader was part of the school's annual Read Aloud Day last week, as guests celebrated reading by visiting with students and sharing some favorite books.

Forty-five guest readers read to various age levels during the morning event, hosted by the Derry Village School PTA and parent volunteers. The school has hosted Read Aloud Day for almost two decades.

"A lot of great people in the community come in, some are retired teachers, police officers, etc.," said parent volunteer Kim Cyr, who manned a table and offered each guest reader a name tab and special escort to take them to the classroom.

The Derry Village library was also hectic as the reading event progressed with a table set up for each grade level, offering a wide choice of books for guests to choose from. Some brought their own books to read.

"Some bring their own," said Derry Village library staffer Dorothy Butler, who was recently honored at the state level by the PTA for her efforts in the classroom. "And I love to see what they bring."

One guest reader, Dr. James Haas, a dentist with Vanguard Dental in Derry, brought a timely tooth story called "Tooth Tales." Another reader, "Dollar Bill" Burke, brought a book that a family member had authored. Other readers included retired teachers, guest principals from other Derry schools, local business members, and School Board members. Pinkerton Academy students also participated as guest readers at the school.

Taylor Library staffers Linda Merrill and Fran Mears came as a collective unit and were very happy to be part of Read Aloud Day at Derry Village School. Merrill said it's a way to get out in the community and share the joy of books and reading with children.

"It gives us an opportunity to meet the students," Merrill said, adding it also gives extra exposure to what's available at the local library, including Taylor Library in East Derry.

Another guest reader, Caryl Carl, said she was very happy to return to Derry Village to read to the students. She taught music at the school for 19 years.

"I love coming back," she said, adding she still is very involved in the school and accompanies the school's music concerts on piano.

Derry Village principal Steve Miller congratulated everyone that worked on bringing Read Aloud Day to the school once again and celebrated the event's longevity. '

"I think we are clearing 18 years this year," Miller said. "The children love it and they love having [special guests] in the classroom."

Butler said it's always a team effort at the school, where all special activities like Read Aloud Day are concerned and the school's staff, PTA members, and parent volunteers all work together for many successful events.

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