Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam will visit Waterville Community Elementary School Friday as part of her Read 20 Family Book Club.
“To know that the governor’s wife promotes literacy means a lot to me as an educator,” Waterville Principal Charlene Cofer said.
Cofer said she had registered for a visit from Haslam through the state website.
The principal said she was excited about the upcoming visit.
“As a member of the House Education Committee, it is both a personal and professional joy to hear that one of our great local schools has been chosen for such an important Read 20 visit,” state Rep. Kevin Brooks said.
“We are thrilled to welcome first lady Crissy Haslam back to Bradley County. She and Gov. (Bill) Haslam visit here often, and it is always a great privilege when they choose to highlight our very own community.”
The Read 20 program encourages parents, grandparents and other adults in a child’s life to read with them for 20 minutes a day, five days a week, according to Cofer.
“This is a way we can help children be more successful,” Cofer said.
While some students know of the upcoming visit, many will find out this week. Cofer said they are reminding students, as always, to be on their best behavior.
Cofer said with the implementation of Common Core it may be difficult to give children a set time simply to read silently to themselves. The book club will give the school a way to encourage individualized reading, as it has in the past.
“Our local school systems have set the standard in many areas, for many years,” Brooks said.
“Waterville Elementary is a wonderful school, filled with talented teachers and super students. I am looking forward to showing Mrs. Haslam all the great things about our great school.”
Local leaders and state representatives have been invited to celebrate the Haslam visit and the kickoff of the Read 20 initiative. The event will start at 1 p.m. with comments from Haslam to the students.
Cofer, who first heard about the book club from a teacher at the school, said she thought it was something about which she wanted to know more.
Schools in Hamilton County have already joined the book club. Cofer said Waterville is the first in Bradley County to join the book club. However, she is sure that others will come on board in the future.
Haslam is also visiting Rhea Central Elementary School in Dayton earlier in the day on Friday.