Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed reads to a second grade class at Stewartsboro Elementary School on Sept. 20, 2013, in Rutherford County, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
More than 40 schools participated recently in the 10th annual Reading in Schools Day in Rutherford County.
In an effort to connect the community with the classroom, volunteer readers were invited to choose from a selection of books or bring a favorite from home to read aloud to an enthusiastic group of students.
Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed visited Stewartsboro Elementary School.
“As a former teacher, I know the importance of reading to our children,” Reed said. “Reading in the Schools Day is a day I look forward to every year. In fact, I could hardly sleep last night because I was so excited about coming to read today.”
State Sen. Bill Ketron agreed. He read to Angela Pope’s class at Erma Siegel Elementary in Murfreesboro.
“Reading to children is one of the simplest and most important steps a parent can take in ensuring a child’s future in education,” Ketron said.
There was a great deal of excitement over Reading in the Schools Day at the McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro.
The entire staff dressed up as their favorite book characters, including Principal Clark Blair and School Resource Officer Tim Hayes, who dressed as Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2.
At Kittrell Elementary School in Readyville, members of the the Oakland High School football team read aloud to cheering fans.
“I’ve been bringing my players in to participate in Reading in the Schools Day since 2008,” said Tommy McDaniel, the head coach of the Oakland High football team.
“It’s a great opportunity to give back to their community,” he added. “They also learn valuable life skills and people skills.”
To prepare for Reading in the Schools Day, volunteer reader Randy Kohal attended Read To Succeed’s reader training course earlier this month. He read to Debbie Siegfried’s class at Homer Pittard Campus School in Murfreesboro.
“It made my day. I can’t wait until next year,” he said.
Lisa Mitchell, executive director of Read To Succeed summed it up best: “I believe we should all be life-long learners and that literacy skills are the foundation for a successful life.”
Read To Succeed, the community literacy collaborative in Rutherford County, promotes reading, with an emphasis on family literacy through various programs and initiatives, such as the event held Friday.