Sales of bestselling books such as Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat,” J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” and R. L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series prove that children enjoy reading as long as the stories capture their attention and spark imagination. This week, two Fort Valley State University events were held to promote reading during the second annual National Young Readers Week.

Taylor County Head Start and the campus’ Child Development Center visited Hunt Memorial Library on Nov. 10, eager to hear FVSU’s first lady, Betty Rivers, read to them.

Library Director Annie Payton welcomed the three year olds to campus.

“We’re glad you came for this important occasion. Enjoy yourselves,” said Payton, as the three-feet high guests settled into their seats. The director introduced Rivers, who was dressed as a cowgirl in a sky blue blouse, matching handkerchief with golden polka dots and a western hat.

“Dr. Annie Payton asked me to make a second appearance at National Young Readers Week, and I’m delighted to be here,” she said, personally greeting guests with a handshake.

Story hour began with singing, dancing and giggling. Rivers and several members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. performed classic nursery rhymes such as the “Hokey Pokey,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

After singing, students gathered in a tight circle around the guest reader to hear Watty Piper’s “The Little Engine that Could,” a story about a small train filled with toys that successfully tugs cars up a huge mountainside to waiting children.

“Kids who learn to love books, and read voraciously do well in school,” said FVSU’s Curriculum Materials Center librarian, Emma Stanley, who helped organize the session. “Children learn by example. If they see someone they look up to reading a book, they’re more likely to pick one up too.”

Read Full Articles at FVSU