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Celebrating the Superpower of Reading with BEE a Reader

REACH recently celebrated the conclusion of our fourth year of BEE a Reader success with the second-grade staff and more than 120 students from Anne Sullivan and Hawthorne Elementary Schools in Sioux Falls. Students and volunteers have been bonding over books through their weekly reading sessions on Zoom from mid-February through the end of April. At the party, we celebrated that reading is our superpower as students donned superhero masks and selected books to take home to continue cultivating their love for reading. 

Over 50 volunteers donated nearly 400 hours supporting the BEE a Reader program, ensuring its success for another fantastic session. We were delighted to have readers joining us from all over South Dakota, as well as Arizona, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah. More than half of the volunteers are returning BEE a Reader mentors, and they are eager to join us again in 2025. We are beyond grateful for their partnership and investment in this rewarding and exceptional program. 

Throughout the program, students and their mentors shared stories meant to inspire, entertain, connect, and challenge. The students have read for a combined total of more than 500 hours, with each reading over 300 pages. Laid end-to-end, these pages would stretch beyond 270 feet, taller than a giant sequoia and more massive than the wingspan of a 747. Adding all the reader's pages together would extend beyond the top of Mount Everest. It's astounding the heights we can REACH when we work together! 

Want to BEE a Reader next spring? Follow REACH Literacy on social media and watch for application in January 2025!

Photography by Michael Mazourek


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