Read Across Russell County is returning as an in-person event in 2022 after being held virtually last year.
This year’s program is set to take place Tuesday, March 29, from 4-6 p.m. at the Russell County Public Library. The library and the Russell County Education Association are presenting the event.
In its first year as a large community event in 2020, Read Across Russell County was a hit with students and parents alike, bringing out more than 200 people, according to RCEA President Brooke Bartrug. She hopes returning in-person in 2022 will help recapture that enthusiasm for reading that the first event generated.
“We just hope to get the community there again,” Bartrug said. “They really showed up and showed out [in 2020] … I think everybody’s ready for in-person events again and a chance to get their kids back at these activities.”
There will be plenty of fun activities for studentso that are related to reading.
Read with a Laker will include Russell County High School student-athletes and ROTC members reading books to younger children.
“We have several students committed to coming to that,” Bartrug said. “They come in their Laker or ROTC attire, and it’s a good event for the little kids. They love our Lakers and want to be one of our Lakers, so seeing those students they look up to reading to them — those students-athletes and ROTC members — reading is now something they want to do also.”
There will also be face painting, which can include a full-face work, done by high school and middle school art students.”
At the button making station, students will take books that are popular or that they like and they get to watch buttons being made from that story.
This year’s story hour will be slightly different than in the previous event, with a revolving story every 30 minutes, creating new sessions for the small children in attendance.
One of the most popular returning activities from the event in 2020 is a green screen that allows children and adults to be “inserted into” their favorite scenes or comic book.
The resulting photo will be put online for parents to get from social media.
Lastly, the event will feature free pizza from Pizza Hut and free books for every student in attendance until supplies run out, although Bartrug said she anticipates there will be enough for everyone.
The Friends of the Library will donate the free books for the younger children, and the Russell County Board of Education will donate the free books for the adolescents.
“It was a really fun event in 2020, and we have a really fun event planned again this year,” Bartrug said.