STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford Mayor David Martin was a big hit with Lauren Santiago’s Grade 2 class at KT Murphy School when he stopped by to read "Stone Soup" on Wednesday morning.
But after he left, one student said he would like someone even more important to visit the class.
“I want (President Barack) Obama to read,” the boy said to a group of friends after Martin left.
While the president will have to visit another day, the school hosted Martin and other visitors, who read to the students on Literacy Day.
Martin said he enjoys his visits to the city’s schools. “First of all it makes me feel good,” he said about why he was reading. “I enjoy it and the kids enjoy it and we are sending a message that reading is important and adults should sit down and read to children.”
He said he has been reading at schools since his days on the city's Board of Representatives. Recently, he read to Springdale School students shortly after he was elected mayor. That visit was a promise kept: He had stopped by the school during the campaign and said he would return if he was elected mayor in November.
On Wednesday, Martin declined the offer of a chair and instead sat on a mat with the 18 students gathered around him. He frequently stopped to ask students questions about the book as he went through its pages. Later, he answered students’ questions, including whether his father read to him.
“Yes. Do you know what my dad read to me? 'Tom Sawyer,'” he told the students.
One of the other guest readers was a former K.T Murphy student, Kaitlyn Tarpey, 22, who is currently Miss Connecticut.
Tarpey attended the school for one year in Grade 3 and read on Wednesday in the classroom where she was a student.
She then attended St. Cecilia School and Turn of River School before finishing moving to Loomis Chafee, a boarding school in Windsor Locks, for high school. “It is familiar, it is a little different. It has gotten a few facelifts since I was here,” she said with a laugh.
She also read "Stone Soup" to Barbara Curra’s Grade 2 classroom.
School Principal Frank Rodriguez said the day is important to encourage children to read.
“The main point to get across is to get kids excited about reading, about literacy and that it is an important part of their career to be successful,” he said. “To have that inspiration, that curiousity, that books make a difference.”
Shivani Chaudhary, 7, said she liked having the mayor read to the class and said she is currently reading a book at home.
“It’s about this girl named Ramona and her friends and it’s called 'Ramona’s World,'” Shivani said.