Read across America

The extensive list of “celebrity readers” for McWillie Elementary’s Read Across America celebration, held recently includes Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Miss Jackson State University, Comelia Walker. Local musical artist Cody Cox shared with the scholars, and Stephen Brown (aka 5th Child) read and shared poetry and spoken word. A host of other local authors, artists, parents, and community friends also joined in the celebration. G.R.I.T.S. were also on hand, the award-winning grandparents program “Grandparents Reading In The Schools.”  McWillie scholars joined millions of their peers across the country to celebrate the 16th annual National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day, which celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading. McWillie’s celebrity readers included Jackson native and McWillie alum Alan Huffman, the author of five non-fiction books: Ten Point, Mississippi in Africa, Sultana, We’re with Nobody, and Here I Am. Huffman has also been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; The Atlantic; Columbia Journalism Review; Forbes; The Guardian; International Business Times; Los Angeles Times; Mother Jones; Newsweek; New York Times; Outside; Oxford American; ProPublica; Salon; Sky Magazine; Washington Post Magazine, Preservation; Smithsonian; VICE; Meridian/Vox Media; and The Clarion Ledger. He has also made numerous appearances in national broadcasts in radio and television media. Shown are (from left, back) Grahm Torrey, Theresa Frazier, Daniel Salter, Antonio Vaughn, Isaiah Goree, Camaiya Evans; (middle row) Samuel Watkins, Walker Cooke, Kamari Mack, Huffman, Jordan Robinson, Ryals Harris, Julian Wilson, Toni Caldwell, Isaiah Dobbins, Isabella Gates, Lyndon Brown; (front) Alana Harp, Meagan Kendrick, Kambria Reed, Madison Walker, Jocemin Duren, Kaitlyn Russell.

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1. Before she began working at Premier Fabrics, she was a teacher. 2. She is a life-long resident of Jackson.