Gilbert kindergarten teacher Lysa Lynch makes house calls in her pajamas. To emphasize the importance of reading, the Towne Meadows Elementary School teacher visits her students’ homes and shares bedtime stories with them.
She got the idea about 10 years ago when she saw an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show in which a principal visited students’ homes dressed as Dr. Suess.
It’s fitting, then, that Lynch will be featured on Rachael Ray’s new talk show, which is backed by Winfrey.
Ray is known for her “30-Minute Meals” and “$40 a Day” shows on the Food Network. She also has several cookbooks and a magazine, “Every Day with Rachael Ray.” Her talk show begins locally at 4 p.m. Monday on KPHO-TV (Channel 5).
A video crew visited Gilbert on Aug. 28 and spent the day filming Lynch in her Towne Meadows classroom. Crew members also met with Marisa Vallejo, who was in Lynch’s class last year.
Then they decided to fly Lynch and a friend to New York last week to tape the show, and at the last minute flew in Marisa and her parents as well.
“It was so fun,” Lynch said. “They treated me like a celebrity for five minutes on the show.”
Lynch and the Vallejos were given a green room with their names on the door.
“They did my makeup and hair and all that kind of thing,” Lynch said. “Then we came and sat on the set with Rachael. She introduced herself like we didn’t know who she was.”
Lynch said she hasn’t been told yet when the episode will air.
Lynch began her home visits about seven years ago when she transitioned from teaching fourth- and sixth-grades to kindergarten. She wanted to emphasize that reading should be an integral part of life.
“It’s something you should do as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or taking a bath,” she said.
Lynch said parents have been very responsive, and students enjoy the visits. They get excited to show her their rooms and introduce her to their pets and siblings.