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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

C.J. Morris Hosts Author’s Week

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 2, 2012                                                                             Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

A Reading Celebration
C.J. Morris Hosts Author’s Week

WALNUT, CA—C.J. Morris Elementary students and staff members celebrated the joy of reading during Author’s Week held March 26-30.

To kick off the week of activities Terry Pierce, author of Blackberry Banquet, hosted three assemblies and a book signing.

On Tuesday, students brought a gently used book to school to read and then trade with their classmates.

On Read A T-Shirt Day, students wore shirts with writing and on Pop A Top Day they brought a pop top drink and enjoyed reading outside.

On Friday’s Read Across C.J. Morris Day, about 25 special visitors read to students to share their love for books. 

During the event, volunteer including parents, student athletes, district officials and a deputy sheriff visited three classrooms to read and answer questions.

Students wore cozy pajamas for the special morning of story-telling.

Diamond Bar/Walnut Deputy Sheriff Doug Daly read Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, a Dr. Seuss story that helps children recognize the good things in their lives.

The volunteers introduced themselves, shared about their career or culture, and what they liked the most about the book they were reading.

And they all knew it was important to show students how important reading continues to be in their lives.

“I hope you enjoy reading because I know I do. You can pick up a book and go anywhere. And it’s absolutely true!” said volunteer Rosemary Lippman.

Walnut High senior athletes Kristen Swafford (Water Polo) and Chesley Ekelem (Track and Field) said they brought books that were special to them as children.

“We picked these books because they were our own childhood favorites and made us happy,” Swafford said.  They read Shel Siverstein’s The Giving Tree, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hatches an Egg, and Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to show these kids that you can do sports and really can like reading. And they’re really cute!”  Ekelem said.

Second graders cheered after parent Stephen Chung animatedly read Diane Shore’s Bus-A Saurus Bob. After answering questions, the sales representative passed out tiny bus toys for the children and they were thrilled!

WHS Varsity football players Brandon Estrada and Chris Mendez paired up to read to students.

“The best part is letting kids know that reading is still fun and not boring,” said Estrada, a C.J. Morris alum.

“I enjoyed how the kids liked to see athletes read and that we care about reading,” said Mendez.

They answered several questions and told students “always do your homework first!”

“I think this event helps them realize that reading is still something that to you do every day even when you get old!” said Jeff Bloedorn, WVUSD Director of Maintenance and Operations.

“What’s the clickety-clack?” he asked kindergarten students while reading Skateboard Mom by Barbara Odanaka.

“That’s the sound the wheels make on the sidewalk lines.”


Volunteer Rosemary Lippman read Jennifer Ward’s There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog to C.J. Morris students.

Volunteer readers Walnut High football players Brandon Estrada and Chris Mendez.

WVUSD Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin shared Pops Bridge by Eve Bunting, a book that described the amazing efforts and difficulties that went into building the Golden Gate Bridge with C.J. Morris second grade students. 

Second graders were thrilled when they received toy busses from parent Stephen Chung.

Maintenance & Operations Director Jeff Bloedorn read “Skateboard Mom” to kindergarteners.

Walnut High senior athletes Swafford and Chesley Ekelem Kristen Swafford Chesley Ekelem.