Read Across America Day celebrations in local schools

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  Schools across southwest Virginia are celebrating the joy of reading during Read Across America day.

To show students how fun books can be, teachers are dressing up as their favorite story characters and guest readers come into schools with their favorite books and read to the kids. The Roanoke Children's Theater visited Highland Park Elementary school in Roanoke, telling stories to the fourth and fifth grade students, in an effort to show them that reading is fun.

"The biggest challenge is the enjoyment and getting them to see that reading is fun. We want to offer them lots of choice in what they read, not always giving them what they need to read. That's the biggest challenge is getting them to truly read for enjoyment and for a sustained amount of time," said Cara Kenney, a reading specialist at Highland Park Elementary School.

WSLS 10's Jenna Zibton reads to students at Monterey.
WSLS 10's Jenna Zibton reads to students at Monterey.

Kenney says reading and practicing makes a difference and she wants to make it enjoyable in and out of school. Older students use audiobooks as one method to listen to and read books. Online subscriptions allow students to read news and articles online.

"Every time I come up here it's just wonderful to see the kids The kids their faces just light up in the room, they are very engaged and it's just wonderful. We have a fire fighters and engine companies going to all schools across the city and they just enjoy it," said Chief David Hoback, Roanoke Fire-EMS.

"This is one of those days where we get to build a love of reading and our kids. We have found the more they enjoy what they do, the more successful they are and we know that literacy really unlocks everything that they need to be successful," said Kacey Sterne, Monterey Elementary School Reading Specialist.

Read Across America Day is celebrated each year on March 2, which is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, who is also know as Dr. Seuss.

WSLS 10's Virginia Today team all spent Thursday morning and local schools reading. Jenna Zibton and Patrick Mckee visited Monterey Elementary and Kristina Montuori went to Fishburn Park.