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Twenty four community members volunteered their morning on Thursday November 15th, reading to the students of Bancroft Elementary grades 1-5 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Volunteers ranged from superintendents, PTO presidents, police officers, fire fighters, and local businesses (including myself: a veterinary nurse from Longwood Vet Center).

I was warmly greeted by the principal Mrs. Leah McComsey, who was excited about the day’s special event for her students. I then gathered with other volunteers and mingled, sipping coffee and enjoying a few cookies! After a few minutes, I was welcomed by a student from Mrs. Clendening’s third grade class. I learned that he had a dog of his own, and that he was looking forward to a summer spent in the pool and the more immediate snow that was supposed to grace us with its presence momentarily. Students prepared for my visit by coming up with a few questions about myself and my career. Science is loved by most in the class, and they were excited to learn how much science was used in veterinary medicine.

I chose the book called “A Rhino with Glue-On Shoes”. It is real life stories from exotic veterinarians of their trials and tribulations with their unique patients. I read condensed stories about a chimp, named Hondo, which developed a special relationship with his caregiver, a hippo that needed a root canal, a beached dolphin that made his way back home, and a rhino that needed a special pair of shoes.

The students enjoyed these real tales and loved the happy endings! At the end, I was presented with a personalized thank you card. The snow began, and enthusiastic hoots ran to the window. What a fun day!

This guest reader event was a wonderful experience. It exposed students to many different careers and encouraged their love of literacy. Longwood Veterinary Center was glad to be a part of it this year and look forward to returning again in the future!

Written By: Tara Corridori, LVT

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