SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Rotary clubs, community volunteers, and leaders from the community teamed up Thursday to get Savannah students excited about reading.
"We recognize the importance of literacy and reading," said Debra Larson, Hospice Savannah CEO and Co-Chair of Rotary Read-In. "So we felt that bringing Rotarians and community members to interact with the students and to read to them and encourage them to read themselves, to encourage them to have their family, friends, loved ones ready to them is – we want to do that by setting an example."
Dr. Ann Levette, Mayor Eddie DeLoach, and Alderman Van Johnson, just to name a few, took part in reading to the students. All the volunteers left a little something behind in each classroom.
"The books are purchased by all the various readers and then the books are going to be left in the classroom to help for the schools to build their libraries," Larson said.
Kindergarten through third grades from over 500 classrooms throughout the Savannah community enjoyed the day, but many volunteers said they gained something from the one-hour read-in.
"It was so enlightening in many ways and it was really a wonderful experience for me because they were amazing," said Carri Stoltz. "The children were so interested."
The Rotary clubs hope they can keep this once-a-year event going in the years to come. This year, they exceeded their expectations of how many people came to help.
"We are just so excited as to how this program has been received," Larson said. "We were hoping to recruit between 350 and 400 readers, and as of last night, we're up to 522."