All of the first-graders at Buffalo Trail Elementary got a special surprise on March 23: a visit from 7News meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo. She met the students in the school library and read them one of her family’s favorite books, Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. The youngsters were captivated as Hidalgo shared the story of a fly who convinces a young boy, his family and the judges of a “best pet” contest that he is indeed a pet, rather than a pest.
There was more excitement when the students found out that they are the winners of the 7Readers are Leaders award for the month of March. The program, which is sponsored by 7News, Mountain States Toyota and the Douglas County Libraries Foundation, encourages reading among early elementary school children and fosters the art of storytelling in the community.
Each month, the first grade at one metro-area school is honored with the 7News Readers are Leaders award. In addition to listening to a story read by a 7News personality, each first-grader gets a goodie bag that includes their own copy of the story they heard. The Buffalo Trail first-graders plan to read Hi! Fly Guy to their families and to kindergarteners at their school after spring break.
“I’m excited for our first-graders to show others that they can read,” said Kim Casali, the teacher librarian at Buffalo Trail. “Being read to or reading to others, reading with someone and reading independently all help with fluency.”
The 7Readers are Leaders program also presented Casali and Buffalo Trail Principal Tamara Speidel with a check for $1,000 to support the school library, which has been designated as a “Highly Effective School Library Program” by the Colorado Department of Education. Casali said she will use the funds to add more non-fiction books to the school's collection as well as more books from the Fly Guy series.