By Brandi Underwood
Last week’s blizzard may have put a damper on her scheduled programming, but retired Raleigh County librarian Linda Mitchem wasn’t going to let the snow days put her Valentine’s Day festivities on ice.
The celebrated “Day of Love” may have passed, but it’s never too late to share the love of reading, Mitchem said.
Mitchem took to the roads this week to present “The Book I Love,” a Valentine’s Day reading program, to students from Lester, Cranberry-Prosperity and Coal City elementary schools.
The program, purposed to get young readers talking about books, featured Mitchem dressed in costume as the Queen of Hearts, an infamous character from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
Mitchem read “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch,” an illustrated children’s book by Eileen Spinelli, to both Judy Harvey’s and Donna Thomas’ third grade classes at Coal City Elementary on Thursday.
After enjoying story time and a snack, students were able to forage through a pile of shiny, brand new books and selected a free one to take home.
Sponsored by Read Aloud West Virginia, a nonprofit organization that seeks to motivate children to want to read, Mitchem explained that the program is currently seeking volunteer readers for Cranberry-Prosperity, Lester and Coal City schools.
“It is important to stimulate a child’s interest in books and reading,” Mitchem said. “It’s not just the teachers’ responsibility to foster a love of reading; Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, we all need to show our children how significant reading is to daily life.”
Read Aloud West Virginia volunteers visit classrooms and other community locations to read to children on a regular basis. For more information on how to get involved, contact Leslie Baker at 304-252-3730.
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