Harry Potter story time

Artwork by Kaia Broglie

Pioneer Elementary School fourth-grader Kaia Broglie submitted this masterpiece in part of Brentwood Union School District Superintendent Dana Eaton’s art contest. The contest goes hand in hand with the live readings of “Harry Potter” chapters Eaton hosts each morning online.

Students in the Brentwood Union School District (BUSD) can now tune in each morning for a dose of magic.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on the district’s Facebook page, BUSD Superintendent Dana Eaton will read chapters of “Harry Potter.” The readings will be live in the morning, and recordings will be available for viewing later.

“To me, reading a story to children is very calming,” Eaton said. “I think in a time like this, it is one of the best things to enjoy as a family. “Harry Potter” is very special to me because I read the first four books to my classes of fourth- and fifth-graders as a teacher, and I read all seven books to each of my own children. It is one of my most cherished memories both as a teacher and a parent.”

Brentwood Chief of Police Tom Hansen paid the district audience a visit this week, and Eaton’s inviting others to take turns reading as well. In addition, a “Harry Potter”-themed art contest accompanied the readings this week. Children were invited to submit artwork, some of which were posted on the district Facebook page. All artists were then entered into a drawing for a chance to win their own copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Fourth-grader Kaia Broglie’s picture of Fawkes, a phoenix from the story, was featured.

“I love the ‘Harry Potter’ book series and art so much,” said Kaia. “When I found out there was going to be an art contest for ‘Harry Potter,’ I was overjoyed that I would be able to combine my two favorite things together. One of my favorite characters is Fawkes, and I’m happy I was able to draw him for this contest.”

Brentwood resident Lisa Richmond’s children, ages 12, 10 and 7, have been enjoying the sessions.

“They look forward to the ‘Harry Potter’ readings each day!” Richmond said. “We sit together around the kitchen table and listen. As a parent, I love that we can come together for a special time each morning. I’m a big ‘Harry Potter’ fan, so it is one of the highlights of my day. The voices that Dr. Eaton uses for the characters really bring them to life.”

And Richmond’s family wasn’t alone. While live, over 500 computers tuned in, and within three hours after the reading aired, the video gained 1,200 more views.

“If that many people keep watching, it will put good pressure on me to shave daily and keep my nose hair trimmed,” Eaton joked. “Reading a great story together builds a wonderful common experience between an adult and child. Sometimes in a complicated time, it is good to revert back to something so simple and rewarding as sharing a book.”

To listen, visit https://www.facebook.com/brentwoodunionschooldistrict.

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