NEW ROCHELLE - Students at Jefferson Elementary School in New Rochelle took part in the annual New York State Great Read Aloud.

The program, in its 12th year, sends the message that reading is both fun and fundamental.

Special guests included New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, New York State Sen. George Latimer and News 12 Sports Director Pete Ruf.

With more than 600 children at the school taking part, the program is also being recognized as a tremendous learning tool, especially for those who are learning English as a second language.