Copperas Cove’s mayor leaned in toward students as they listened in anticipation. The colorful book lay open across his lap as he read them a story, changing his voice with each character. He embraced his inner storyteller, taking the students on an imaginative adventure as they gathered in a circle around him.
Since 1989, National Young Readers Week has been an annual event during the second week of November to raise awareness about the importance of reading.
To inspire young readers, Hettie Halstead Elementary School hosted “Read Your Heart Out” where guest readers were in most classrooms across the campus. Some volunteer readers chose to bring their own book, some let the school choose for them, and others requested a favorite book.
Guest readers including Mayor Frank Seffrood, high school football player Marcus Ortiz, retired teacher Texie Sage, and Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Trisha Stutz participated in the event and read some of their favorite stories. The volunteers engaged the students in books like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Napping House,” bringing the characters to life with their energy and animation.
Second-grade student Cassidee Tuiasosopo enjoyed hearing from the guest readers.
“My favorite part of the book was from ‘The Napping House’ and was when the bed popped,” Tuiasosopo said.
Principal Brian Jost participated in the reading event as part of the Principal’s Challenge, reading all day to students across the campus.
Stutz shared the book, “Jack the Tripper.”
This year, reading has been at the forefront of importance toward student success at Halstead.
Students have been participating in the Give Me 20 Challenge, an eight-week challenge for teachers to read to their class for at least 20 minutes per day. The students are also participating in the Book It! Program, which allows students to earn a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut after reading a certain number of books a month.
The many reading activities at Hettie Halstead Elementary focus on inspiring and encouraging young readers and emphasize the importance of becoming lifelong readers and learners.