Governor reads to pre-k class at Dana Road Elementary

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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Dana Road Elementary students were treated to a gubernatorial reading of a classic Dr. Seuss tale.
Gov. Phil Bryant, along with state Rep. Alex Monsour, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr., South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson and Sheriff Martin Pace helped kick off Read Across America Week at the elementary school Monday morning by reading Dr. Seuss books to the students and talking about the importance of reading.
“What we’re trying to encourage is for every child to simply learn to read,” Bryant said.
Bryant referenced education initiatives passed by the state, such as the Third-Grade Literacy-Based Promotion Act, in which students must be reading at grade level by the time they leave the third grade to be promoted.
“We have to start early,” Bryant said.
While teachers and assistants roamed the hallways dressed as characters from Seuss’ books, Bryant read “The Butter Battle Book,” a parable about arms races between two people, the Yooks and Zooks, to Rachel Dean’s pre-kindgergarten class.
“It was very exciting,” Dean said. “We were nervous, but I had four parent volunteers come and help get  things ready. We were happy to have the governor.”
“We’re thrilled to have all our distinguished leaders here for Read Across America,” said principal Sherrie Williams. “One of our assistant teachers was responsible for suggesting it and we were very excited to have Gov. Bryant here.”
Flaggs, who has made literacy a cornerstone of his local educational policy, said having the governor on hand promotes literacy even more in the community.
“Having the governor come into your community — I commend him,” Flaggs said. “He gets out in the field and meets educators one-on-one.”
Flaggs said he hopes Bryant’s visit will leave a lasting impact on the students and encourage them to continue reading.
“Could you imagine having the governor read to you as a child,” he asked. “It’s a great day for Vicksburg.”
Founded by the National Education Association, Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for children to celebrate reading on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
More than 3 million teachers and higher education facilities participate in the annual event, now in its 21st year.