Week of reading kicks off at convention center

Published 9:42 pm Monday, June 20, 2016

Children line up to pick out a book to take home during the Reading is Fun week kickoff at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center on Monday.

Children line up to pick out a book to take home during the Reading is Fun week kickoff at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center on Monday.

The Carl C. Morgan Convention Center was packed Monday morning, full of smiling and laughing children as they shared in the joy of reading.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Zeta Eta Omega chapter and the Women and Youth Services Center hosted a Reading is Fun Week kickoff.

“We’re so excited about this program because we know reading is the foundation of education and through reading children can take adventures anytime that they want to,” said Dr. Verdell Lett-Dawson, Women and Youth Services president. “In a small town like Selma, it’s important for them to experience things. This is our way of offering them those other experiences.”

Children had the opportunity to visit with popular book characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Franklin the Turtle and other characters while listening to stories told by Abayomi Goodall, “the story lady.”

“We want to make reading fun,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Zeta Eta Omega chapter president.

Toward the end of the program, children were allowed to pick out a book to take home.

“Those books are theirs to keep. It’s through ownership that they are inspired to love books,” said RIF coordinator Nancy Sewell. “We’re trying to develop successful students as life long readers.”

Sewell said the program is normally only a week long, but with generous donations the program has been extended.

From June 20 through June 29, the Reading is Fun program will be held at different satellite locations:

* Tuesday, June 21 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Selma Police Athletic League Center

* Wednesday, June 22 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Felix Heights

* Thursday, June 23 from 3-5 p.m. at YMCA of Selma and Dallas County

* Friday, June 24 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Phoenix School

* Monday, June 27 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Clark Elementary School

* Tuesday, June 28 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Rangedale Center

* Wednesday, June 29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Valley Creek Center

Lett-Dawson said to see the convention center packed with almost 400 children was a positive sight.

“To see this many children come is truly exciting,” Lett-Dawson said. “It means that the community really wants children to learn.”

For more information about the program, contact Sewell at (334) 875-2481 or RIF chairman Melinda Page at (334) 874-7043.