Published Sunday, November 04, 2012

Annual literacy program held at Unity Elementary

From Staff Reports

The mayor, a local Baptist preacher wearing overalls, the director of the local Girl Scout camp – and someone who looked a lot like a president of the United States – were among the readers at Unity Elementary School’s Real People Read program.

The annual event was held at the school in Luthersville on the morning of Dec. 19. About 75 people from the community gathered in the media center to enjoy a chicken biscuit breakfast before fanning out to classes.

Some brought their own books to read, while others made selections from the library shelves.

Tracy Sims, principal, said a goal of RPR is to develop “a lifelong love of reading.”

Tommy Worthey, pastor at Luthersville Baptist, wore his overalls for the reading event. Kathy Elliott, director of Girl Scout Camp Meriwether, was among the readers, as was her mother, Nancy Lee.

Bob Trammell, a retired college administrator who grew up in Luthersville and is now the town’s mayor, encouraged students in one class to read to their younger siblings.

Bob Prater, who frequently portrays Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came to Unity in his presidential persona. Approached by a friend in the media center, he spoke in Rooseveltian tones and announced he had left a press conference in Warm Springs to get to the Luthersville reading program.

Prater read from David McCullough’s “In the Dark Streets Shineth,” which centers on Christmas messages in 1941 by Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

Members of the Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen from Greenville High School and the Distinguished Gentlemen from Manchester High School proved to be particularly popular readers with the elementary pupils.

“This is the biggest turnout we’ve ever had,” noted Erika White, the school’s counselor.

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