Local Students Participate In Read Across America

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Monday, at Kelly Springs Elementary School in Dothan, students and faculty celebrated Read Across America; a national program focusing on the importance of motivating children to read.

Several public figures, including the Dothan City police chief and mayor read to children so that they can be inspired to open a book.

Sharon Kelley, the principal at Kelly Springs Elementary said, "When they see how important reading is to those in their jobs, they can relate to that and the jobs they have at school."

The kids read Dr. Seuss books in honor of his birthday and librarians presented a slide show of his life.

Since the 1950s, Dr. Seuss books have been around to help kids learn how to read and master basic skills.

Reading Coach Jacque Ketchum said, "It’s a fun way at presenting a moral without being boring and his artwork is so creative."

Jordyn York, a 3rd grade student said, "In Green Eggs and Ham, you learn that you got to try something before you say you don’t like it."

Children are also taught that strong reading skills will affect the future of their education.

"One day, a test might come up; say you are studying Shakespeare for a test. So you always need to be ready to read all the books you can."

School officials feel that some students have a difficult time learning how to read and hope that funding for reading programs like these will grow.

“We were at 46%; we have to be at 50%,” Kelley added. “With the funds we had from last year, we were able to fund some extra help."

The National Education Association launched the Read Across America Program in 1997, making 2008 its 11th year.