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Wednesday March 9, 2016 at 7:34pm Age: 3 yrs
Category: District, Otisville Elementary


The Great Otisville Read Aloud is an annual week-long program coordinated by school librarian Candice Sheerer to encourage reading and the love of books. Activities began bright and early on Monday, March 7, with a visit from Matt Reid, the army baseball coach at West Point. After an introduction of their special visitor by Ms. Sheerer, students engaged in a Q&A about West Point and baseball.

"Make sure you get ahead on your school work and focus on being a good person before sports or anything else,” Mr. Reid said. “Cadets go to school and do a lot of reading, just like you, and many great leaders come out of West Point.”




Coach Reid had no trouble holding the group’s attention with his expert reading of a baseball story, animated by demonstrations of some of the best-kept tricks of the game. “Joy in Mudville” by Bob Raczka tells the story of a last-hope baseball game saved by an unlikely washed up rookie fresh off the farm.  Claiming to be “just the guy” to pitch the boys team out of its trouble, the skipper faced a much-feared, colossal slugger. 



“Is he a giant?” one student asked.  To the dismay of 20,000 fans, “the guy” turned out to be a she, and she resorted to techniques she’d learned in football, tennis, volleyball and soccer to win the game for the home team. 

“The story showed a lot of girl power,” student Mia said. “I learned that if you can’t hit the ball, you can try to bunt it,” said Eaton. Mr. Reid praised Joy for her confidence and originality and admitted he might try some of her moves at West Point. 

Before heading back to the academy, Mr. Reid lingered through the next reading activity at the Otisville library. Fifth grade students sat around a large screen to watch middle school students read poems from their library at the Minisink campus, via Google Hangouts. 

In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Otisville: A team that works together,” the Great Read Aloud reached far beyond Otisville’s grounds.