Kindergarten and first-grade students at Usher-Collier Heights listened in fascination last week as Georgia’s first lady, Sandra Deal, read the book, “Who I’d Like to Be.”
Georgia resident Elizabeth Brown wrote the book at age 90, and her eight-year-old great-granddaughter illustrated the book, which is about a boy who dreams of being different animals and insects. Mrs. Deal stated that she searched for a Georgia author, because she wanted to expose children around the state to some of the contributions Georgians are making to society. The reading was part of Mrs. Deal’s “Read Across Georgia” campaign, which supports Governor Nathan Deal’s goal of increasing the percentage of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
After the reading Mrs. Deal told the Usher-Collier Heights students that they must practice reading everyday so that they can become great readers.
“Practice not just one time, but everyday of the week — even in the summertime,” she said. “In the summer you can go to the library and check-out lots of books.”
Before Mrs. Deal left kindergartener Anisa Badi presented her with a gift to show the students’ appreciation.
Anisa added that she enjoys reading books, and she loves when others read to hear. Her favorite part of the the first lady’s reading was when the narrator dreamed about being a pig digging holes with his snout and splashing in puddles.
Monique Campbell, the Pre-K and second-grade coordinator at Usher-Collier Heights, believes that children benefit when adults read to them.
Last year Georgia’s first lady visited 170 schools in 100 counties to emphasize the importance of reading. As part of the initiative, Mrs. Deal plans to visit multiple schools almost everyday in March.