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Special visitors to Dawson-Bryant play reading cheerleaders

DEERING — It was a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” who brought out the local celebrities as Dawson-Bryant Elementary students joined a nationwide reading campaign.

Thursday was “Jumpstart’s Read for the Record,” where guest readers come to elementary schools to read aloud the same book to classes as a way to encourage children to become lifelong readers.

Participants all read the Eric Carle classic, now marking the 40th anniversary of its publication.

Guest readers at the Deering school were Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey, WSAZ-TV anchorman Bill Murray, Dennis DeCamp, Dawson-Bryant school superintendent, Eric Holmes, district director of instructional programs, Dannie Newman, guidance counselor, Angie Dillow, Dawson-Bryant elementary principal, and Steve Dillow, technical specialist in southern Ohio for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart joined American Eagle Outfitters, Pearson, Penguin Young Readers Group and Sodexo, as national campaign partners.

The aim of this campaign was to beat last year’s record of reaching 700,000 children by reaching participation of 1 million students.

“The goal is that together we can raise awareness of the importance of reading with children,” Angie Dillow said. “The research supports the importance of reading with them as early as possible for a life of sustained learning success.”

Chief Carey held court with the youngsters in the class of his wife, Angie Carey.

“Kids use reading every day,” he said. “I hope this will encourage them.”