Paramount, CA – Raymond Collins Elementary School first-graders enthusiastically shouted answers to math problems thrown their way by Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Brian Jordan, who turned a day of reading into an impromptu multiplication lesson.

Jordan tested the students in between reading from “Yo! Yes?” on March 2 in celebration of Read Across America Week, the annual reading awareness program.

“It takes a village to raise a child, so it’s important for the entire community to get involved when we can and support young students,” Jordan said. “I had great teachers throughout the years who all pushed me to read and develop my literacy, which helped to shape my future.”

Jordan, who has served with the fire department for 33 years, said he included math in his reading session to keep the students focused and engaged.

Paramount Unified K-6 students were treated to a variety of celebratory activities during Read Across America Week, which celebrates the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Parents, District staff members and service men and women took turns reading classic tales and encouraging students to continually explore new books.

“Read Across America is a special event for our District that gets our students excited about literacy,” Paramount Unified Superintendent Ruth Pérez said. “Each of our schools celebrates in a unique way that lifts school spirit and brings our community closer together.”

Lincoln Elementary students enjoyed outdoor reading on the campus lawn as teachers and staff dressed as fairytale characters; Los Cerritos Elementary School also received a visit from the L.A. County Fire Department, while Tanner Elementary students donned Cat in The Hat hats for a day of reading and fun.

Raymond Collins students dressed for success, by wearing college gear or the attire of their desired profession.

“Read Across America helps students connect reading with success and achieving their dreams,” Paramount Unified Board President Vivian Hansen said. “We’re thankful for everyone who participated in Read Across America and helped to make it a great event for our children.”


030818_PARAMOUNT_READACROSSAMERICA1: Raymond Collins Elementary parents, staff and volunteers pose during the school’s Read Across America celebration on March 2.

Raymond Collins Elementary students listen intently to a fairytale during the school’s Read Across America celebration on March 2.