Read books, pass Go

Clare O’Brien, the beloved librarian of the Sonoma Valley Library, displays some of the great books available for reading with her Sassarini School pals, Julian Castro (l) and Cristian Amaral.

I ’ll buy Boardwalk and build two hotels…

Those dreaded words have bankrupted many a Monopoly player over the 75-plus years of the game’s unprecedented success.  Luckily for students at Sassarini, a six-week reading program called “Sassarini-opoly” has taken center stage, propelling them from potential counterfeit monetary disaster to academic literary success.

Conceived and implemented at Sassarini, the game is a six-week event that encourages students to read.  Each and every student receives a Sassarini-opoly game board that includes rewards such as popcorn, freeze pops, books and extra recess time dispersed around the board and earned by time spent reading at home.

Recently Sassarini hosted “Mystery Readers,” individuals in the community who volunteer their time to come to the school and read to the children in their classrooms. During Mystery Read, children are given three hints to guess the reader ahead of time.  Sassarini was fortunate to have the following people read to the students:  Mike Brown, a Benecia Firefighter; Carla Haskell, owner of the Sonoma Toy Shop;  Clare O’Brien, the Sonoma Valley children’s librarian;  Roger Rhoten of the Sebastiani Theatre;  local pediatrician Charles deTorres,; and pro football player and Sassarini alum Tony Moll.  In addition, Sassarini School principal Leticia Cruz, and Sonoma Valley Unified School Distrtict Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, came to the classrooms to read.


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