March 22, 2012 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
The children in Glenda Torres’ class at the Early Childhood Center recently had a special visitor stop by—BMCC President Antonio Pérez.
Pérez was there to read a book to the children. Since he likes animals as much as the children do, he read them Olga the Brolga by Rod Clement, a book he received from friends in Australia.
The animal connection
For storytime with President Pérez, the children sat in a corner of the “Orange” classroom.
Using always-popular animal voices to enhance the story, Pérez made sure the children saw all the colorful illustrations while he read.
A Brolga is a crane-like bird with a long neck native to Australia. In Olga the Brolga, Olga is upset no one will dance with her because everyone’s so busy.
Throughout the reading, the students politely raised their hands when they had questions about Olga’s friends and family, which included turtles, snakes and penguins.
When one of Olga’s friends was pictured holding a tube of sunscreen, Pérez told the children it’s important to wear sunblock, even if you’re a bird.
Their response? Laughter and shouts of, “You’re silly!”
Sharing laughs with the children
Pérez asked the students if they danced by themselves like Olga does in the book. They cheerfully responded, “Yes!”
The youngsters also told Pérez their favorite activities to do alone, such as “ride my scooter,” “read,” or, according to one smiley young boy, “play with my Nintendo Wii.”
Before he left the classroom, Pérez thanked the students for being such good listeners, reminding them that “when mommy and daddy or your brother and sister are busy, it’s OK to play a game by yourself sometimes.”