Crissy Haslam promotes reading in Oak Ridge

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee's First Lady, Crissy Haslam, made another stop in East Tennessee Thursday as part of her initiative to promote summer reading across the state.

Haslam visited Glenwood Elementary School in Oak Ridge, which won one of the state's 12 Read to Be Ready grants to pay for its summer reading camp.

The camp's overall theme is "Read Like a Pro," with different themes for each week, including "Read Like a Chef," "Read Like an Artist," "Read Like a Zoologist," and "Read Like a Geologist."

The grant allowed the school to pay for the entire camp, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all of the campers each day, field trips, and two books per week for each child to take home and keep, all at no cost to students or their parents.

Campers' families were also invited to come join them for Open Library Night two days each week, which included different activities and the chance to check out some books; and Books with Breakfast, where parents were invited to enjoy breakfast and reading time with their kids.

Each week has also included various arts and crafts projects, and a field trip each Friday corresponding to that week's theme, including: Pellissippi State Community College's culinary school, Zoo Knoxville, and the Knoxville Museum of Art. This week they will visit the Lost Sea in Sweetwater as part of their geology studies.

Thursday, the kids were excited to welcome Mrs. Haslam to join them for their camp.

She read a book to students and shared her thoughts on why reading and education are important, then observed the day's classes in action.

"They're very excited about the fact that the First Lady of Tennessee is coming to our school," said teacher Amelia Bell.

"We sort of had to emphasize 'of Tennessee' because they thought Michelle Obama was coming," added Gwen Harrell, another teacher.

This is the first year of the Read to Be Ready grant, and teachers at Glenwood Elementary say they have gotten very good feedback from students and parents.