CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Almost 17,000 elementary students in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee were treated to a visit on Nov. 17 by an Appalachian Power employee who came to the school to read a book and donate that book to the school library.
The event was part of Read to Me Day, an annual event in which Appalachian Power employees volunteer to read to students at schools throughout the company’s West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee service territory. This year, 314 readers read to students at 418 schools. First started in 2001 and now in its 16th year, the company estimates it has read to more than 250,000 students and donated approximately 6,000 books.
“Being read aloud to can be such a magical experience for kids. It’s so rewarding for our readers to witness that,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian Power president and a volunteer reader at a Charleston elementary school. “Our reason for devoting so much effort to Read to Me Day is to reach as many children as possible with the magic of a good story. Children who enjoy books will read more. Ultimately, they’ll be better readers and do better in school.”
Readers read and donated the book, “The Gingerbread Man: Loose in the School,” by Laura Murray, a Virginia author.
“It’s always exciting to have a visitor in school,” said Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power communications director. “When that visitor brings a book to read, it’s even more special. And it’s certainly a big change from an ordinary day for our line mechanics, meter readers and call center representatives who volunteer to read. It makes for a memorable day for both the kids and the employees.”