To go along with explaining that books could be found on the Internet and read from a computer, Haslam gave the students a bookmark with a website that allows kids to access age-appropriate books and games.
Along with the bookmark the students received a folder that contained a calendar for the summer months where they could log how many minutes a day they spent reading. If they completed the calendar, Haslam said the governor would mail them a certificate, signifying the students were a part of his “Reading Cabinet.”
Nancy Fowler, children’s librarian and deputy director of the Lebanon Public Library, spoke to the students about the library’s summer reading program. She challenged the students to read more books than their parents this summer as the program is open to children and adults.
“Reading is very important during the summer so you don’t forget things you’ve already learned,” Fowler said.
She also pointed out to the students that the Nashville Zoo will work with the library on their summer program and bring animals to the library for the kids to see.
After Haslam finished reading, the students lined up and had the opportunity to pick through a table stacked high with books, from which they could choose one to keep.
Haslam’s stop at Coles Ferry Elementary is the first in a trip to 10 schools across the state as she promotes the Read 20 initiative and Scholastic’s Summer Challenge.
“Reading is the foundation upon which the rest of learning is built. If children and families commit to reading at least 20 minutes each day, that’s a tremendous step toward a brighter future,” Haslam said.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.