NYS Assemblymember ‘Drops Everything to Read’ to Students

picture of Assemblyman John McDonald holding open a book and reading to students seated in bleachers in school gym.NYS Assemblymember John McDonald visited WES for DEAR Day where he read “of Thee I Sing,” to 5th grade classes. The inspirational book penned by President Barack Obama for his daughters celebrates the characteristics and achievement of 13 famous American personalities and historical figures and how each helped shape our nation.

DEAR Day, which stands for Drop Everything And Read, is a tradition at Watervliet Elementary School. As the name implies, it is an opportunity for students across grade levels to focus on reading for fun as well as learning. It is typically celebrated the day before Thanksgiving break, when students are also invited to wear their comfiest pair of pajamas to school.

picture of student seated in bleachers with hand raised to ask the assemblyman a question.On DEAR Day, guest readers share stories with students. Guest readers can include district and school leaders, and for at least the past 9 years, Assemblymember McDonald has participated. After reading the book, the legislator engaged in a candid Q&A with fifth graders, which featured questions that ranged from “what are you most grateful for” to “what is your opinion of pineapple on pizza?”