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In celebration of World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1, first-graders in Jamie Lyn Celeste’s class at Wantagh Elementary paid a digital visit to Virginia author Sue Fliess. During the video and audio chat, Ms. Fliess read her soon to be released book “Mary Had a Little Lab,” the story of which is based on “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Sponsored by nonprofit organization LitWorld, World Read Aloud Day encourages people throughout the world to read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy. According to LitWorld, 750 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills. In addition, reading aloud to children every day puts them ahead by almost a year of children who do not receive daily read alouds.

“Mary Had a Little Lab” will be released in March, so the students were lucky to have the opportunity to hear the book read out loud prior to being released to the public. They also had time to ask the author questions about her other popular books and reasons for becoming an author.