First grade students at Wheeler Avenue Elementary School were treated to a visit from Incorporated Village of Valley Stream Mayor Edwin Fare. The mayor read a book to the children and went beyond the content of each page by discussing the meaning of the story being told.
Mayor Fare read to first-grade classes during two different sessions. Both times he introduced himself to his young audience and explained that prior to his role he was a teacher, and has actually taught every grade from K-12. His educational background showed as he asked questions and prompted students to think about the book, “How to Heal a Broken Wing,” by Bob Graham. The storyline involves a boy who finds an injured pigeon in a large city and takes the bird in to care for it and help it heal. Eventually the pigeon is set free and able to fly again.
The mayor brought the students into the book and helped them relate to the characters’ experiences -- he asked if they have ever been to the city, if anyone had ever broken a bone and how that felt, and what they thought would happen next. At the end, he discussed the moral of the story and emphasized the point that there was an important message to take from it. “We learned that we need to help others who need it,” he stated. “With our help, maybe they can heal.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund, who attended both reading presentations, also addressed the students on the importance of helping others. “The Mayor helps us here at Wheeler,” she explained. “He gave us a tree that makes our school more beautiful while helping the environment.” Dr. Robb-Fund also noted that the mayor provided a new traffic sign in front of the school to promote safety during arrival and dismissal times. “The Mayor does a lot of nice things, and we should thank him,” she stated. The children, who were all given water bottle gifts from their guest, said a happy and hearty “thank you” before the mayor left.