Phenix City students given star treatment for reading achievements


PHENIX CITY, Ala. — We all know it’s important that kids read, but some educators and community members in Phenix City are teaching them the rewards of reading are plentiful.  Thanks to a special relationship with a community partner, Lakewood Elementary School’s top ten accelerated readers received a very special treat.

“So these are our top ten out of about 540 kids,” says Lanette Holmes, principal of Lakewood Elementary School in Phenix City.

This year’s top ten readers received the royal treatment—a stretch limousine ride around town. While this is about rewarding them with fun, the work they put into getting here builds tremendous foundations for their futures.

“We’re focusing more on reading to learn. So if we haven’t instilled that passion in them, it’s going to hinder them in all of their subject areas. So, whatever we can do to promote reading and keep that love for reading instilled in them is just going to benefit us across the board for all subjects,” says Principal Holmes.

Pediatrician Dr. Ritu Chandra of Preferred Medical Group of Phenix City certainly understands that.

“I am a big supporter of kids, and I understand that reading is so critical towards the building blocks of a child and for success in life. I think it’s critical for their building blocks in academics for their success in life and work,” says Dr. Chandra.

Her practice is a “Partner in Education” with thirteen schools in the Phenix City and Russell County School Districts. She says it brings her great job to sponsor the limo ride event for the kids.

“School was not as exciting when I was a kid, and it’s true I’ve never been in a stretch limo, but every year, I sponsor the activity for the kids,” laughs Dr. Chandra. “Phenix City is a small community. I’m so happy to support our community and all the children here in Phenix City. It’s priceless to see their faces and how excited they are to get on the limo ride.”

“About 2,000,” says fifth grader Libby Young.

That’s the number of books the ten year old says she read this year to earn her spot on the limo ride.  But she says reading is more than just about prizes. It’s her passion.

“It takes me to different places I wish I could go to, but never could. And all the characters,” says Libby.

Hearing responses such as Libby’s warms the hearts of Dr. Chandra, Principal Holmes, and all these children’s teachers and parents.

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