YADKINVILLE — Students at Yadkinville Elementary School got a special excursion to the local public library on Friday for an early birthday celebration of the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss. In 1997, the National Education Association created the Read Across America “motivation and awareness” program to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and reading.
The local program is sponsored at the Yadkinville Public Library by the Rotary Club.
“It’s a fun thing,” said Linda King, Rotarian and coordinator of the Read Across America program. Rotarians volunteer to read to the children at the library and King said even members who seemed nervous about it at first said they wanted to come back and read again the next year. Other members of the community also have joined in the program.
Yadkinville Mayor Hubert Gregory and City Manager Chris Ong took turns reading stories to a group of prekindergarten and first-grade students.
“Do you want to know what mayors do?” Gregory asked the group of 4- and 5-year-old prek students. “They throw candy at parades,” he said, jokingly.
Gregory also shared with the children the importance of reading and how reading a book could “take you anywhere you want to go.”
This is the third year that the Rotary Club has sponsored the program which includes a $1,000 grant to the library to help purchase new books and volunteers to read to the children.
“The library is so important and it is kind of pushed aside these days,” King said. “They do so much though with computers and programs that they do and the stuff with kids especially. It’s really important for them to get excited about books and reading because kids who don’t read well don’t do as well as life.”
The grant money from the Rotary Club is earmarked especially for children and young adult books at the library.
On Friday, the new books were on display in the reading area and Librarian Malinda Sells said they would soon be available for check out.
Students in grades prek through fourth grade visited the library and enjoyed stories read by local Rotary club members and other community volunteers. The students were encouraged to come back to the library with their parents to sign up for a library card and check out books.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.