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Miss Connecticut Reads to West Hartford Students

Miss Connecticut, Jill Duffy reads "Green Eggs and Ham" to first graders at Whiting Lane. Courtesy photo

Miss Connecticut was the special guest reader as West Hartford’s Whiting Lane Elementary School celebrated Read Across America.

Jill Duffy, the current Miss Connecticut, poses with Whiting Lane students and teachers after participating in Read Across America on March 3. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Eli O’Mara (center) with Miss Connecticut, Jill Duffy, and his younger brother, Nolan (right). Courtesy photo

A very special guest visited Lisa Mazzarella’s first grade class at Whiting Lane School in West Hartford on Tuesday, March 3.

Miss Connecticut, Jillian Duffy of Burlington, wore her tiara and sash as she sat in a special chair and read Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” to an entranced group of first graders Tuesday at Whiting Lane.

She also answered their questions about being Miss Connecticut.

Each Miss Connecticut promotes a platform and Duffy, a pediatric cancer survivor, has chosen “Jillian’s Journey – Pediatric Cancer Research and Awareness.”

During her reign, Duffy has been visiting schools throughout the state, and has participated in events at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Eli O’Mara, an All-Star/patient liaison at Connecticut Children’s and student in Mazzarella’s class, had met Duffy at previous events, and gave her a special welcome Tuesday.

“The kids were in awe of her,” said Allison O’Mara, Eli’s mother, who also visited the classroom Tuesday.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for the kids,” said Principal Karen Kukish.

Having Duffy as a celebrity reader was particularly meaningful to Mazzarella as well. She was previously a participant in the Miss Connecticut pageant program, and said the visit was special and inspiring to the students.

Duffy posted a video on her Instagram (@missamericact) after the visit with the message: “Stop number 2 on day number 2 of Read Across America Week was a visit to my good friend Eli’s classroom! I left with a full heart, and a craving for green eggs and ham! Thank you Ms. Mazzarella and Eli for welcoming me into your classroom!”

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Miss Connecticut, Jill Duffy, answers first graders’ questions at Whiting Lane. Courtesy photo

Eli O’Mara holds a sign welcoming Miss Connecticut to his class. Courtesy photo

Miss Connecticut reads to first graders at Whiting Lane on March 3. Courtesy photo

Read Across America at Whiting Lane. Courtesy photo

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