Last year, Spencer Community Schools Librarian, Lynnette Gross, launched a Guest Reader Program for elementary students. Knowing of her love of reading, Gross reached out to Paula Buenger, Publisher of the Daily Reporter, to see if she had a desire to be a guest reader. “Since Paula is an avid reader, I initially reached out to her with the idea, but I thought others from the Daily Reporter might like to do it too,” said Gross.
Now in its second year, the kids hear from 4 different guest readers from the Daily Reporter throughout the year. It is quite a commitment for the guest readers as it takes an entire morning to read to each class. New to the Daily Reporter staff this summer, this was James Tillison’s first experience being the guest reader. When asked about the experience to which he had committed, Tillison replied, “I worked a lot with kids when I was in high school, so working with kids isn’t new, but reading with kids is.”
Tillison talked with the students as they sat excitedly at his feet. He explained to the students what he does at the Daily Reporter and gave them a chance to ask questions. After a few questions, Tillison began reading the book, “To Market to Market” by Anne Miranda. The book was funny and drew lots of laughter. When finished, Tillison asked if the book was fiction or nonfiction, to which the students unanimously and loudly replied, “FICTION.” One person went on to say that it was funny too!
To round out the day, Tillison shared a funny story with the students from when he was in second grade. His teacher told the students to write one-page paper, which Tillison mistakenly thought said a ten-page paper. Ever since then, he has loved to write and credits that love to his second-grade teacher. In his mind, Tillison believes the longer and more you can write the better.