AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — World Read Aloud Day was celebrated in elementary schools across the Panhandle and in Amarillo, on Feb. 1. This day is celebrated every year in more than one hundred and seventy-three countries. It was created by LitWorld, a non-profit organization, and sponsored by Scholastic. This day was made to bring people of all ages to come together and connect with reading aloud for a good cause.

KAMR Local 4 Anchor, Andy Justus had the chance to read to students this morning at South Georgia Elementary School in Amarillo. WT’s Rural Resilience and Opportunity on the High Plains AmeriCorps, Amarillo College Badgers Baseball team, and other community members volunteered at Cactus Elementary, Margaret Wills Elementary, South Georgia Elementary, and other local schools to read to different grade levels.

South Georgia Elementary Second Grade teacher, Beth Talley said it is important to put a focus on reading in the classroom. She said, “It’s like these are people in our world, who are leaders in the community who have strengths and yet they are bringing their love of reading to the classroom so that students are seeing examples of strong reading. so again, it just connects reading to our world in the world to reading.” Talley continues, “It puts a focus on it because I think that they need to know that it will serve you for the rest of your life.”

Talley had her second-grade class motto on one of her classroom walls. The quote is “the world needs who you’re made to be”. The quote is based on the book “Who You Were Made to Be”, by Joanna Gaines. Talley said, “We read this book by Joanna Gaines, all about how we all bring unique gifts and perspectives and talents. And the world doesn’t need what someone else is made to be they need who you are made to be. And so every, every week, even in our class, family meetings and things, we revisit that idea of how can I bring my best to my class family? How can I bring the best to the world?”

South Georgia Elementary School also had a book drive throughout the week to donate new or gently-used books to Story Bridge, a local non-profit organization. WT AmeriCorps will donate about 1,000 books to Cactus Elementary School and local schools in Amarillo ISD. WT AmeriCorps donations are in collaboration with The Leaders Readers Network.

On April 12, WT AmeriCorps will take part in Cactus Elementary and Margaret Wills Elementary school’s Drop Everything and Read Day. They will read to students as well as distribute books.

If you are interested in donating funds or books locally, you can go to the Story Bridge website or The Leaders Readers Network website.