(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
First-graders at Dorchester’s Marshall Elementary School were all smiles Wednesday morning as Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley paid a visit to the students to read to a class and drop off a few books.
Conley was at the school to help promote more reading at a younger age and encourage the students to do their best in school.
“We want to inspire the kids to be life-long readers,” Conley said. “So many possibilities open up when you read, and it’s just great to show young people in our city that the DA’s office is here to help.”
Conley treated students to a reading of “Crow Boy” by Taro Yashima, showing them the pictures and reading the story out load with the students listening silently.
“It’s important for them to see someone different than the teacher telling them that reading is important,” said Kerline Beazer, a first-grade teacher at the Marshall. “If you read you can get smarter and go further in life, and this makes a difference.”
Although this was one of Conley’s first visits to the school, staff from the DA’s office have been visiting the school every week since November, reading to kids, talking to them about their jobs, and explaining the importance of literacy.
“This is a really great chance for us to put ourselves out into the community in a positive way,” said Adam Foss, an assistant district attorney from Conley’s office and organizer of the readings. “Any interaction you can have with young people that is positive impacts them and they learn something new each week.”
Foss hopes to follow this year’s first-graders into the second-grade and continue the readings.
While it seems the reading ended too early for students, who were ready to listen to another story from the DA, they will have plenty to read over the summer after the DA passed out new books to students from the Music Tree House book series.
“I like reading a lot,” said Mya Smith, 7, a first-grader in Beazer’s class. “My favorite person to read with is my Dad because he helps me read and does it with me a lot.”