Skip to content

Retirees sought to join employees on Read to Me Day

by on August 21, 2014
Jon Atchley, who retired after 30 years with Appalachian Power, reads “Silver Packages,” by West Virginia author Cynthia Rylant to students at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Huntington, W.Va., on Read to Me Day 2013. This year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2014. Photo by Allison Barker.

Jon Atchley, who retired after 30 years with Appalachian Power, reads “Silver Packages,” by West Virginia author Cynthia Rylant to students at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Huntington, W.Va., on Read to Me Day 2013. This year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2014. Photo by Allison Barker.

Every fall, hundreds of Appalachian Power Company employees and retirees fan out across Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to read the same book to schoolchildren as part of Read to Me Day.

Last year, about 420 schools participated in the annual event that promotes reading and gives volunteers the opportunity to give back to their communities. There is no cost to schools or volunteers to participate. While volunteers say the event is one of the best things they do each year, areas remain where finding volunteer readers can be a challenge. That’s where retirees can help, said Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power’s communications director.

“Scheduling readers at nearly 450 schools in three states is big job,” Matheney said. “We start planning months before the event and have volunteers who love visiting the same school year after year. But we could use some additional volunteers in southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia, particularly in the Beckley and Bluefield areas and in the Lynchburg area.”

This year’s event is slated for Nov. 20. The book is “When Charlie McButton Lost Power” by Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games series. The clever, humorous story in rhyme with bold cartoon illustrations takes us through a day when Charlie’s techno-driven world comes crashing down after a thunderstorm causes a power outage. It’s a modern-day story that explores sibling relationships and making good choices. After reading the book, a copy is donated to each school’s library to give students a chance to check the book out on their own.

Retiree Jon Atchley has participated in Read to Me Day for 12 years and remains one of its biggest supporters.

“I enjoy all their little faces and their enthusiasm,” Atchley said. “The children make it worthwhile. I look forward to it every year.”

Appalachian Power began its Read to Me Day program in West Virginia in 2001, and expanded to Virginia and Tennessee two years ago. Since that first day in 2001, Appalachian Power has donated more than 4,400 books to school libraries and read aloud to nearly 200,000 students. Readers are usually asked to read to two classrooms per school.

If you are interested in participating in Read to Me Day 2014, please complete this information form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/retiredreaders.

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: