SELMA – There were readers to the left and readers to the right. At Indianola Elementary on Feb. 24, guests were reading with all of their might.

The National Education Association says reading can make you smart, so reading intervention teacher Nancy Nicacio took that to heart. It was her turn to organize Read Across America. Yes, she did her part. She invited the mayor, Selma High athletes, ROTC students and community leaders. The first year there were 26, but this year there were 60 guest readers.

In the cafeteria wearing a red and white hat, Principal Shane Pinkard reminded us of a certain tall black cat. In his fish tie, he looked pretty cool, and said “Today is a big deal here at our school.”

He even led students in the readers’ oath cheer. “This is our sixth or seventh year.”

So off to the classrooms the guest readers went. Reading for fun was how the morning was spent.

Principal Pinkard said, “This day is just what the students need. This is an opportunity for kids to see other people read.”

But one little girl was filled with dread. “I didn’t even know a mayor could read at all,” she said.

“Of course he can read,” Pinkard said.

Later, the little girl was impressed with the Selma civic leader. She even said “he’s a really good reader.”

All morning long, books were read with vigor. Principal Pinkard said “Every year we do this, it gets bigger. We get people who call and volunteer. We’re always excited to get more readers each year.”

At Indianola, they wanted to have book characters visit, so that’s just what they did. Pinkard said “Anything we can do to inspire our kids.” 

Do you want to make reading fun, but it’s advice you are needing? At, there are tips for you to be heeding.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or

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