Meredith Vieira visits Mackrille School as guest reader
Meredith Vieira visits Mackrille School as guest reader
Posted on 06/24/2015
This is the image for the news article titled Meredith Vieira visits Mackrille School as guest reader

WEST HAVEN, June 23, 2015 — Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School capped off the school year and its guest reader program by welcoming someone who’s a familiar face to people across the country: Journalist and TV talk show host Meredith Vieira.

Vieira stopped by Mackrille June 16 as the final visitor of the year for the school’s “Reading Journey” program and read “Wherever You Go,” a story by Pat Zietlow Miller about a rabbit’s adventures while exploring the world, to the entire Mackrille school community.

“What we’re doing today emphasizes how important reading and writing is, and it’s going to continue to be very important as you grow up,” Vieira told the youngsters gathered in the school’s gym for the presentation.

Vieira’s visit to Mackrille was in the works since the fall. Principal Judith Drenzek had been in contact with representatives of Vieira’s talk show, “The Meredith Vieira Show,” about a possible collaboration and thought celebrating the completion of another Reading Journey with Vieira would be a great opportunity for the school.

Mackrille’s Reading Journey initiative asks students to log the amount of pages they read at home and features a special visitor each month of the school year for a school-wide assembly. Each guest reads a book to the entire school and participates in a Q & A session with the youngsters about favorite books and school subjects and about his or her profession. Other guest readers this year included NBC Connecticut Meteorologist Bob Maxon and state Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald.

The project also incorporates geography. This year, youngsters learned about different parts of Connecticut, as a small paper version of Drenzek “journeyed” a certain distance across a map of Connecticut on a bulletin board based on how much the students read each month. Additionally, Drenzek promised to take a pie in the face if students read a certain amount of pages.

The goal was for students to collectively read 340,000 pages over the course of the year; by Vieira’s visit, they had successfully completed Drenzek’s challenge by reading 448,460 pages.

After Vieira’s reading of “Wherever You Go,” students had a chance to ask about her TV shows (she was one of the original members of "The View" panel, co-hosted "The Today Show," hosted "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and was previously a correspondent for “60 Minutes”), her own experiences in school (her favorite subject was English), and her favorite book as a child (the “Eloise” series).

As she answered students’ questions, she reminded them that learning never ends, even when you’re finished with school, and to believe in themselves no matter what path they choose in life. She said her favorite job has been reporting because of the opportunities to interview and share stories of so many different people.

“If you’re curious about the world, it’s amazing what you can go discover,” she told Mackrille students.

Students and staff alike had been excited to see Vieira and learn more about her career and had been talking about her reporting work in the classroom, Drenzek said.

“Ms. Vieira is a great role model for our students and was very interested in their questions and conversations when she was here. As she toured the school, she stopped to talk to students in the hallway and asked their names and answered any other questions they had,” Drenzek said. “She helped us celebrate the successful completion of my reading challenge and the end of the school year in a special way. We’re grateful she took the time to come to Mackrille, and she showed how reading is important for school but also a fun hobby. I think she really inspired our kids.”

meredith visit