Head Start students get a jump start on reading

By Portia Williams

October 4, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

It is not every day that kids get to have a story read to them by the Mayor of the city. On Thursday, 16 Head Start students at the Farley Square location sat quietly as the Mayor David Malone read a book entitled, ‘Otis’ to the students as a part of the Reading Record Program.

Mary Ann Miars Peercy, Executive Director of United Way Record for the Record is about engaging more children in reading.

“We are doing Jump Start’s ‘Read for the Record,’ it is a national initiative where we are helping to try to raise awareness for early literacy as well as getting 1,000,000 children involved in reading,” Miars Peercy said.

According to Miars Peercy, the book ‘Otis’ written by Loren Long, is about a friendship between a tractor and a baby calf.

Carla Womack, administrator and teacher at Farley Square Head Start, said the event is enhances their effort of promoting literacy.

“United Way partnered with the Head Start program for ‘Reading for the Record,’ and it is something that we have done annually as we promote literacy in the community,” Womack said.

Womack said the Mayor’s presence was greatly appreciated by the students.

“I think that it is awesome that he would take some time out for the children in the community. Obviously, they were excited about his visit because we have been talking about it for a few days. We also have the Mayor’s grandson in our class,” Womack said.

After completion of the reading, the Head Start students rendered a corporate thank you to Malone.

Mayor David Malone said he enjoyed spending time with the Head Start students to encourage them to higher learning.

“We had a good time it is a priviledge for me to come and spend time with these young people, because they are the future. We want to try to encourage them, to get them jump-started into the desire of reading, to expand their vocabulary, and to be successful and prosperous in society,” Malone said.

The event concluded with Miars Peercy distributing copies of ‘Otis’ to each student to take home, as well as a sticker for each child.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.