Mystery Readers in Every Classroom
Episcopal School of Nashville is an independent co-educational Pre-K through middle school, serving students of diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Valuing the education of the whole child, the school encourages students to engage their minds, bodies, and spirits as they grow in confidence and communion with others.
Nashville elementary school, episcopal school Nashville, Nashville elementary education, Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, Fifth Grade, Sixth Grade, Seventh Grade, Middle School, elementary school, independent school, private school, Christian school
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Mystery Readers in Every Classroom

This year, Volunteer Librarian Beverly Rossini came up with a creative way to expand Library beyond our Wednesday classes. The school began Mystery Readers just a few months ago and it has had raving success. Rossini says, “It was the brainchild of several creative persons.” She shares, “The Mystery Reader program at Episcopal School of Nashville was born out of a desire to showcase the beautiful new Lower School building which opened in August 2018, while enriching the curriculum for all grade levels.”

At the culmination of the 2018/2019 academic year, teachers who wished to participate in the program designated a 20-30 block of time for weekly-guest to come. The identity of the guest and the material being read remained a mystery. Community members who had been supporters of Episcopal School of Nashville were asked to volunteer for available slots.

Directions were given: report to the office to be escorted to the classroom, choose appropriate reading material or ask for guidance, get comfortable – the teacher remains in the classroom, participate once – or volunteer for multiple visits, have fun. So – a program was established.

“It was a great success! For eight weeks the students were delighted by new people, new voices, new (and some old favorite ) stories. Almost forty members of the community visited campus to participate as Mystery Readers, many came multiple times or came two weeks in a row to read a longer work to the older students. Some wore costumes and some did activities to enhance their book. All read aloud and enjoyed the students, the teachers, and the classrooms. The feeling was mutual.  Rave reviews came in from the Mystery Readers and from the students. But one question from our students did resound: Why wasn’t my parent a Mystery Reader?

We had to explain – we didn’t ask them! So, with the launch of the Mystery Reader program again early second semester a decision was made to limit the weekly Mystery Reader spots to the parents, friends, and family of ESN students. To date, we have had most spots filled by these familiar guests who surprise and delight students by showing up to read.”  

Questions?  Contact ESN volunteer librarian at

“After all – who doesn’t, at any age, love being told a good story? When are you ever disappointed to have your day punctuated by a visit from someone with a new book? And who doesn’t delight in listening to the unfamiliar rhythms of a different voice read from history or fiction or poetry or even the news? It’s all about the mystery.  It’s all about the reading. At the ESN we are counting it all joy!”

We want to thank all our family and friends that participated in our Mystery ReaderProgram this year. Our students have welcomed multiple guests and heard many new stories. In an ongoing effort to bring guests to our campus and continue to foster a love of reading, our library program continues to thrive.