NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — First lady Crissy Haslam is using her Read20 Family Book Club to commemorate Women’s History Month.
Haslam is scheduled to read to about 60 fourth-grade students in the House chamber of the state Legislature on Thursday.
She will be reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s Independent Dames, a book with stories about women who influenced the Revolutionary War.
Haslam will be joined by House Speaker Beth Harwell, the state’s first female speaker of the House.
As first lady, Haslam is working to promote early literacy. Last summer, she launched the Read20 Family Book Club, challenging Tennessee families to read together for at least 20 minutes each day.
Lifted from a Chas Sisk political notebook:
State lawmakers took time at the start of a House Education Committee meeting Tuesday to read to a group of kindergarten and second grade students from Nashville’s Shayne Elementary School, demonstrating that it’s not just politics that can leave them tongue-tied.
Wearing oversized red-and-white hats, lawmakers took turns reading Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Socks. They quickly learned that, to the unpracticed, seemingly simple rhymes can be a nightmare to read aloud.
Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, was the first to stumble. He butchered, “Clocks on fox tick/Clocks on Knox tock/Six sick bricks tick/Six sick clocks tock.”
“I got the hardest page here,” he complained.
Lawmakers eventually got smart and started passing the book to their reading companions. Taking it one word at a time, the kids from Shayne Elementary adroitly handled rhymes such as, “Ben bends Bim’s broom/Bim bends Ben’s broom/Bim’s bends/Ben’s bends/Ben’s bent broom breaks/Bim’s bent broom breaks.”
“Easy for you to say, isn’t it?” quipped Rep. Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro.
News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam today began a month-long statewide reading tour to promote improving literacy rates.
The tour kicks off a year-long partnership with ten Tennessee schools located across the state to improve local reading proficiency levels.
Haslam will work to help each of the ten schools with specific needs or struggles they might face will promote early reading initiatives and programs available to students in their communities.
News release from the First Lady’s office:
FIRST LADY BECOMES READING ROLE MODEL
Hattie Cotton Elementary Hosts Mrs. Haslam for Read Me Week 2011
NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam sat down with Mrs. Vicki Russell’s pre-kindergarten class at Hattie Cotton Elementary School to read a few books and to share her passion for children’s literacy.
“Reading to children from the beginning will better prepare them for success in school and in the future,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Families can take an active role by reading at home, passing the gift of reading on to future generations.”
Read Me Week is sponsored by Book’em which is a Nashville nonprofit children’s literacy organization. In 1986, Read Me Day was started by a teacher at East Hickman Elementary School in Lyles, Tennessee by the name of Frankie DeWees. Book’em later expanded the event to Read Me Week to get more schools and volunteers involved.
“We all play a role in high quality education,” Mrs. Haslam added. “I firmly believe that reading to our children at a young age benefits us all, and I strongly encourage others to volunteer in your local schools to become reading role models to our state’s future leaders.”