April 15, 2013 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
BMCC’s President Dr. Antonio Pérez recently met with a very captive audience—who happened to be sitting on the floor.
BMCC’s youngest students, the pre-schoolers of the Early Childhood Center, were treated to a special visit from President Pérez, who stopped by the read the 3 to 5-year-olds a book he pre-selected: Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn.
“Do you know this book?” Pérez asked the kids as he held it up while sitting on a classroom chair. The group of about 20 children slowly shook their heads. “No? Good, so if I make a mistake no one will know!”
Pérez stops by every semester to read to the children, who listened carefully, but also did what children do best—ask questions. They showered their special visitor with inquiries and (adorable) offhand comments.
“My mom reads to me!” shouted one child.
“What does she read?” asked Pérez.
“Three Little Bears,” said the child, which immediately prompted another youngster to perk up and say her mommy reads “stories about princesses.”
As the President read Lola Reads to Leo aloud, making sure the children could see the colorful pictures, the funny statements kept on coming.
And even though President Pérez didn’t read an animal-themed story this year—his favorite genre—he still told the kids about his family’s former cat.
“My son had cat named ‘Sneakers’ because he had white paws,” he announced as they laughed, smiled, and shouted out the names of their cats and dogs.
“I have a cat named Oreo…I think,” said one youngster, prompting Pérez to chuckle.
Plans to return
Students also happily told President Pérez about their families, favorite letter of the alphabet, and how they help their parents make “grilled cheese sandwiches,” said one young boy.
They all laughed again when President Pérez told them he was once a little boy.
“You were small!?” asked a young girl in surprise.
After reading to the children, Pérez thanked them “for being such good listeners” and they waved goodbye as he left; thanking him for his classroom visit.