• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Woodford Christian School celebrates love of reading

Students got to wear their pajamas to school Nov. 2 during “Read Your Heart Out Day” at Woodford Christian School. It’s a day filled with activities to celebrate a love of reading – something they get to do together in their warm and comfy PJs.

“Our whole goal for the day is reading,” said Principal Cara Meadows. “So they’re going to do reading activities all day.”

Read Your Heart Out Day began with students gathering around Ethan Goodrum, a graduate of Woodford County High School, while he read his children’s book, “Night Derby” to them.

Goodrum said he wrote his book in one night, but spent a year finding an illustrator and getting his fictional story published. “I do have plans to write more books,” he told Woodford Christian School (WCS) students. “I have a novel that I’m trying to get published. And I have others that I’m planning to write, but they aren’t quite there yet.”

Meadows said having an author who grew up here read from his book shows WCS students it’s not “way beyond their reach” to get a book published.

Inviting Versailles Police Officer John Costigan and his K9 partner, Nico, to “Read Your Heart Out Day” was a chance for WCS students to learn about their jobs with the police department and how they serve the community, according to Meadows.

Before getting his K9 partner to show students how Nico’s training and tracking skills aid police officers in their work, Costigan read, “Officer Buckles and Gloria.”

The picture book, which Northside Elementary gave him, is about an officer who has more success grabbing the attention of kids and teaching them about safety when he brings along his four-legged friend.

Costigan said having a K9 partner helps him build a stronger bond with children when he’s asked to come to programs like “Read Your Heart Out Day” at Woodford Christian School.

After Goodrum and Costigan finished reading their stories, the students ventured outdoors – one class at a time – and gathered in a camper for story time with their principal.

“She always picks out the funniest books, and we just have a good time and laugh,” said fifth-grader Kylie Martin, who’s been participating in Read Your Heart Out Day since she was a preschool student.

Sharing a story with students gives Meadows an opportunity to stay connected and maintain relationships with them, and spread her love of reading, she said.

“I’m an avid reader. I love reading. So I want to pass that on and encourage them to read,” said Meadows.

“Yes, we read to learn – and we do that most days of the (school) year, but also (we want to) encourage reading that’s fun. It just opens up your world to new things…”

When asked why he loves reading, 10-year-old Dillon Wells, another WCS fifth-grader, said, “I just do.”

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