The gift of literature

Nov. 18—United Way sends guest readers to Lawrence County schools

SOUTH POINT — Third grade students at South Point Elementary School got a chance to hear the tale of a common gray spider and her gift of words and extraordinary deeds.

Five guest readers visited the school on Wednesday as part of the United Way of the River Cities' Read Across the River Cities event.

Students were provided copies of E.B. White's classic 1952 children's novel, "Charlotte's Web," with each reader taking a section and reading the book's first two chapters aloud to students, who followed along.

The school was not alone in taking part in the event, with the United Way sending guest readers to school's across the six counties it covers in West Virginia and Ohio.

Readers came from the community and different careers — at South Point, Jan Gullet, of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, Lydia Waybright, who does talent acquisition for Northwestern Mutual, were joined by Pamela Hall, Ray Sawyer and Sloane Hall.

A member of The Tribune's staff also took part — with Christie Coleman, of the advertising department, reading at Dawson-Bryant Elementary School.

This was the second year for the event. In 2022, more than 200 volunteers read to 2,500 across the United Way's coverage area.

"One of the main goals of Read Across the River Cities is to promote a love of reading among our community's young children," said Jedd Flowers, UWRC's executive director. "One way we hope to accomplish that is by getting people from the community excited about volunteering to read in our local schools. We also understand that the presence of caring adults in our schools can make a tremendous difference in academic outcomes and the social and emotional well-being of students. We hope our volunteers will see the value in reading aloud to students and will want to continue that relationship with the school of their choice."