Addelita Cancryn Junior High School closed out another year of its Cancryn Oral Reading Exchange (CORE) program with a Book Parade on May 26.

The annual event kicked off at the school, made its way to the Emile Griffith Ball Park and back to the school’s campus.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students assigned to teams formed troupes and brought book characters to life with vibrant costumes, props and performances. Second-graders from the Ulla F. Muller Elementary School were guest participants and wore handcrafted costumes depicting the African folkloric tales of Anansi.

“The CORE Book Parade was started around 2002 and the idea was to promote the importance of reading among our students who, in many cases, tend to read at a lower level in terms of comprehension,” said Book Parade coordinator and social studies chairperson Wendy Diaz. “It’s a reading program and to keep it fun and interesting, we culminate with the book parade.”

This year, the CORE program shifted its focus to close reading, a key requirement of the higher academic standards adopted by the Education Department. Close reading is a thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on details in order to help students develop a precise understanding of the text’s form, craft and meanings.

Following the parade, students performed a play depicting the book their student team was assigned. Performances included the students’ choice of a rap, chant or song.

New to the Book Parade and presentation was the book trailer. In an effort to incorporate technology into literacy, students and team leaders were tasked with creating a short film, similar to a movie trailer, highlighting the major themes of each story.

At the heart of the CORE program, administrators highlight oral reading and exchange, which are key components that help teachers quickly assess whether students can identify words phonetically — a critical skill students need for comprehension — and help students understand that literacy is an exchange between reading, writing, listening and critical thinking.

Student teams were judged on Best Book Trailer, Best Cinematography, Best Performance on the Road, Best Oral Presentation, Best Rap, Chat or Song, Best Costumes and Best Book Cover.