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Read Across America at MPLIC Draws a Colorful Cast of Characters
By: Marcey Evans

Cast of Characters

Children across America were reading and portraying their favorite characters on Friday, March 1, 2013. Their author of choice was Dr. Seuss, and the celebration - Read Across America - was a national observation of the renowned author's birthday.

The Memphis Education Association, with support from the Memphis Public Library and Information Center and several other organizations, held a Reading Rally at the Central Library to promote literacy, to foster children's love for reading, and to encourage heightened participation among parents.

Angela Robledo, mother of a third grader at Shelby Oaks Elementary, attended the event, which included several student performances. "Reading is knowledge," she said, while watching the Shelby Oaks Cheerleaders and Dancers, The South Park Dreamers, and the Dr. Brewster Drama Club. "Days like today encourage my daughter to read." Robledo said any program that reinforces the value of reading is a plus.

"Today enriches everyone's life," agreed Mary Seratt, coordinator of Library Youth Services at The Memphis Public Library and Information Center. "Reading helps to open children's hearts and minds."

Mayor Wharton Speaks

Seratt said the value of reading is unsurpassed, even in the eyes of the program's distinguished guests, such as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. "To know students have support from their elected officials is great. These are people (children) who cannot vote, yet they (elected officials) came to an event like this to encourage reading and the library."

Following the program, children and their parents took their pick from several age-appropriate books, donated by the Memphis Education Association.

For more information on reading programs and youth services offered at the Library, visit www.memphislibrary.org or call (901) 415-2700.