‘Read Across America’ hopes to inspire children to read

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Whether you’re a bookworm or not, many of us agree reading is an important part of child development.

In a year filled with screen time and virtual classes, students smiled, waved, and waited in anticipation for a good old-fashioned book.

“I think it’s just a connection made with books when it’s physically in your hand and then you have that book for as long as you choose to keep it, so I think it’s special,” says Fayette County Education Association president Jessica Hiler.

Hiler explains this year’s “Read Across America” is a drive-through event for kids up to 5th grade to pick up a free book and goodie bag. Plus, some of our favorite characters made appearances.

“As a retired pre-k teacher, reading is really important,” says Hollianne Hash.

Hash grabbed books for three of her grandkids and says they waited for the event with anticipation.

“Ohh yes, very excited especially Handan the third-grader, he was major excited,” Hash says. “It shows that it matters. It shows that a bunch of adults got up early probably and out of maybe even their comfort zone to help the children have something good to do.”

While this school year’s been different, to many educators, it’s about celebrating students’ accomplishments despite the obstacles.

“We just want to celebrate our public schools, we want to celebrate our kids and our teachers and all the hard work they do, and just have a good time today,” Hiler says.

In a “normal” year, the event takes place at the Fayette Mall. Typically, 1,000 to 1,500 free books are given away.

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