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Local leaders read to students on Read Aloud Day

LANETT — Wednesday was World Read Aloud Day, an event founded by LitWorld in 2010 as an opportunity for people all around the world to celebrate the joy of reading aloud. It’s also a chance to advocate for literacy as a fundamental human right the belongs to everyone.

W.O. Lance Elementary School in Lanett celebrated World Read Aloud Day in a big way. A total of 20 adults, including ministers, city officials and city employees came to the school to read to children in Pre-K through the third grade. Mayor Kyle McCoy came to Lynn Clark’s third grade class to read from the book “Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor” and to answer all questions about being mayor. One student asked how long he’d been mayor. When he replied five years there were some oohs and aahs among the students as if “that’s such a long time!”

To those who are in the third grade it probably is, but for older folks it’s a blink of an eye.

Police officers Willie Brown and Michael Hernandez read to the Pre-K students. Brown read “If You Give a Mouse an iPhone” to children in Cassandra Griffin’s class and Hernandez read Dr. Seuss’ famed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

The four kindergarten classes are taught by Tammy Ledbetter, Annie Hooks, Brandi Burrows and Cassie Jacobs. Reading to their students during the nine o’clock hour were West Point Councilwoman Sandra Thornton, who read “I Love my White Shoes; Lanett City Clerk Deborah Gilbert, who read “A Creepy Pair of Underwear”; City Treasurer Kelley Walton, who read “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” and Lanett Councilwoman Angelia Thomas, who read “Hair Love.”

At 10 p.m., Captain Jamie Heard and firefighter/paramedics D.J. McElvy and Noah Hurst of the Lanett Fire & EMS Department read “Dog Breath” and “Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library” for first grade students taught by Shana Arrington, Sarah Horton and Cherika Hudson. Sgt. Brittney Reaves read “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” for students taught by Missy Smith.

W.O. Lance second graders are taught by Angela Hargett, Courtney Martin, Rachel Loftin and Rebecca Poole. Pastor Lamar Johnson of Mount Hermon Baptist Church and Pastor Warren Goss of the Berean International Church each read “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and Mrs. Patricia Woody read “Bringing Her Own.”

The third graders are taught by Carly Dumas, Tonya Frank, Lorie Ragsdale, Elizabeth Gamble and Tomenisha Frederick. Reading to their students were Police Chief Johnny Wood, City Inspector Teddy Morris and Patrol Commander Richard Casner.

The students had them read “Officer Buckle and Gloria the Police Dog,” “The Very Impatient Caterpillar” and “We Don’t Eat our Classmates.”

At 11:30 a.m., English as a Second Language students in grades K-3 were read to by Mrs. Reyes.

Kindergarten children loved Sandra Thornton’s presentation. She dressed as “Sadie” and brought with her a doll she called “Little Sadie.”

Angelia Thomas said she loved the book she read, “I love my White Shoes.”

“I grew up with Sandra’s book,” she said.

“It teaches you to keep on stepping and singing regardless the color of your shoes, and even if you have no shoes.”

Over the past ten years, Read Aloud Day has evolved into a global movement with millions of readers, writers and listeners from communities all across the world coming together to honor the joy and power of reading and sharing stories.

It’s something that continues to expand the definition and scope of global literacy.

In 2019, World Read Aloud Day was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter and was celebrated by millions of people in more than 170 countries. Celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Chelsea Clinton took part in the movement.

It was all a part of coming together and celebrating the unique joy of reading. Organizers were hopeful that World Read Aloud Day 2020 would surpass the great participation from last year.

West Point Elementary School also participated on Wednesday.