MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – News 5’s Caroline Carithers got the chance to experience the ‘Take a Walk through Mobile’ read-a-thon at Gilliard Elementary School on Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile, AL.
“Last year the students read over 2 million words, and we are hoping to beat that this year,” says Principal Faith Lucy.
This year’s read-a-thon theme is ‘Take a Walk through Mobile’ with each hallway in the school being decorated with different aspects and parts of Mobile. Hallway themes include Mardi Gras (the parades, courts, Merry Widows, and Joe Cain Day), Dauphin Island Estuarium, Fort Gaines, the Exploreum, iMax, Springhill College, Azaela Trail Run, Ladd Peebles Stadium, Battleship Park, Dauphin Island Parkway attractions (Piggly Wiggly, Waffle House, Fire Station #20, Mobile Public Library, Dotch’s Barber Shop, Tires 4 Less, Rich’s Car Wash, D.I .P Post Office, and Gilliard Elementary School).
The Excelsior Band, Azalea Trail Maids, and city officials such as Police Chief Battiste, Representative Adline Clark and even Mayor Sandy Stimpson came to visit and read to the kids. The school featured photos of city and school officials in the hallways for the students to learn about. Stimpson says “I am amazed. Nothing short of that. Anyone that walks these hallways will have to realize that these teachers have tremendous talent…this is not what you see at the typical school, so I am blown away by it.” He also adds that reading is the foundation of success and commends Principal Lucy on the school’s overall average grade being raised from a “C” to a “B” this year.
The students read all day, take accelerated reading tests, and check out the different hallways with their parents and families. Fifth-grader Chase Robinson says that “the read-a-thon is a whole day dedicated to reading,” while fifth-grader Kurt Carpenter exclaims, “I read six books and took tests and got 100 on each of them!”
For a full tour of the hallways, check out the video below!! You don’t want to miss this!