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Dr. Zamperlin's Friday Read Alouds

If you happen to be walking the hallways of JFK Elementary School on a Friday morning, you might hear Principal Zamperlin–”Dr. Z”-- reading a children's book aloud. He has been creating video recordings for the school since the pandemic. He would sit in his home office, recite the pledge, and read poetry or a book–it was the morning message to start the day.


“Parents would say that kept them going. It was the ritual pieces that gave parents and kids a way to start their school day as a family. Being disconnected, we connected through routines,” he explained.


But the readings continue–past hybrid model schooling and into the present.


“I realized as principal, I am more removed from the classroom so it’s a way to reconnect with the kids.”


Like Mr. Rodgers or Charles Kaurault, Dr. Frank Zamperlin has a soft-spoken voice that resonates with all, especially kids. He has read the classics from his own childhood–Aesop's fables; modern stories–”Bedtime for Bear;” holiday tales–”Vera’s Halloween;” and seasonal stories–”First Day Jitters.”


“My parents were immigrants from Italy and reading was always important in our house–magazines, Italian and English newspapers, books–so I loved to read. I read everything, even the dictionary and the encyclopedia.”


And through the readings, he has gained a celebrity status amongst the students.


“When I walk into the classroom, kids tell me they’ve just listened to my reading. It’s also a great way to open  dialogue about reading. I am modeling reading for them and telling them how important it is to read.”


What will be Dr. Z’s final reading before he retires after 39 years as an educator? 


Here’s a hint:



Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!