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Greenwich Kid Opens the Door to Reading

Sela Turkel stands confidently in front of a classroom and reads aloud to preschoolers at First Presbyterian Church Nursery School in Greenwich. Watching his youngest daughter read to other students struck a chord in her father, Brad Turkel.

"[Sela] went back to her preschool at First Presbyterian last spring to read in front of the class," said Turkel, who lives in Riverside. "I was just completely taken back by 25 3- and 4-year-old kids completely engaged with her. The idea that she was still a little bit older, so the kids could look to her."

Turkel took that idea and turned it into an interactive DVD titled, " Can I Read To You? " It was created to help preschool-age children gain an appreciation of reading while having fun. "The idea is not to teach kids how to read," said Turkel. "It's completely the opposite."

Michelle Albright, a Weston resident and psychologist, said, "Reading aloud to children is one of the most important way to build the skills and knowledge needed to become successful readers and writers." Albright served as the educational consultant for "Can I Read To You?"

The DVD features children from the Riverside School in Greenwich, including Sela. Children from surrounding towns are also included. Turkel said taping took place in local homes in places where kids would normally read, such as on their bed or on the floor. "The readers are pointing and doing things that are real so kids at home could model that," Turkel said.

"Can I Read To You?" was shot by Turkel's production company, Ten Mayflower Productions in partnership with NBC Universal. The DVD includes 14 stories and is set to be part of a series.

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