Rutherford Teacher Brings a Friendly Face and Voice to Students
Updated: Mar 26
Submitted by Rutherford Board of Education
Students in Rutherford can find a familiar face – and voice -- reading to them daily while schools are shut down for public health concerns. Brian Ersalesi, supervisor of English and arts for the Rutherford Public Schools, will upload two videos per day to entertain and engage students.
“This is a way to keep students focused, even though there are many disruptions in their routine,” said Ersalesi.
Parents may recognize his voice from New York City-based radio station 1010WINS; Ersalesi is the weekend morning news anchor under the name Brian Britain. That, plus previous experience as the broadcast television teacher in Midland Park, gives him a foundation for his new audio-video gig.
Each day, Ersalesi will record himself reading one picture book for younger students, and several chapters of a novel for older students. Videos will be made from his living room, uploaded to a YouTube channel, and made available to students of the district.
So far, he has read “The Book with No Pictures” and the classic “Madeline” for younger students, and is 14 chapters into “Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel” for the older ones.
Videos are 8 to 10 minutes in length. Ersalesi’s fourth grade daughter Charlotte helps him select the books, and sixth grade son Henry assists with video editing.
Ersalesi wears clothing showing the Rutherford Public School’s bulldog mascot or paw print to remind the students that everyone in the community is going through the coronavirus disruption together. His efforts line right up with the district’s #BulldogStrong tag. “I want to do something to encourage the love of a good book while schools are relying on virtual instruction,” Ersalesi said.
Here is the link to the videos mentioned above.