“Cheer Readers” brighten up kids’ days by reading stories to them
Izzy Wilson, a Cherryville High varsity cheerleader, introduces one of the books she will read, to the kids, in a video on Facebook. (photo provided)
by MICHAEL E. POWELL
The 2020 Senior class of Cherryville High School, like many of their fellow Seniors county- and state-wide, have had their school term stopped cold in its tracks, thanks to the COVID-10 pandemic.
However, that has not stopped many of them from finding a way to keep up not only with their academics, but many are finding ways to help out and give back to their community, and are doing so in the proper, safe manner.
Take for example, the CHS Varsity and JV cheer squads who are taking it upon themselves to read books to elementary school kids from Cherryville Elementary, W. Blaine Beam Intermediate, and Tryon Elementary. These reading amount to live “Story time” or “Story hours” much like what you would find in a library environment.
And, while many of the stories read are not actually a full hour in length, the cheerleaders put their hearts into it, smiling, and emoting, and making it all very special for the youngsters watching.
Tammy Wilson, School Psychologist for Cherryville Elementary, Tryon Elementary, W.B. Beam Intermediate, and Cherryville High School, and one of the cheerleading coaches, said the ladies have become what she termed, “Cheer-Readers” during the school closure. Said Mrs. Wilson via an email release, “The idea came from another school in North Carolina doing the same type of activity.
“So, the JV and Varsity cheerleaders from Cherryville High School have started reading children’s books aloud and they are then posted to the school web site pages of Cherryville Elementary, W. Blaine Beam Intermediate, and to the Facebook page of Tryon Elementary.”
Wilson noted the ladies read “one to two stories per week”, which are posted on the sites of each school.
“The purpose is to keep our elementary students interested and engaged in reading while they are doing their school work from home,” she continued, adding, “This gives our cheerleaders a chance to be role models in a very different way. They are usually looked up to by our younger students for their talent and skill on the mat, but this showcases a different skill which is considered to be most important for our student athletes to model – academics.”
Tammy said she wants to recognize the school’s principals, Mr. Kevin Doran, Mr. Todd Dellinger, Ms. Meghan LeFevers, and Mr. Shawn Hubers for their support of the idea of letting the cheerleaders read to the elementary kids.
Wilson also noted the ladies are doing this for the younger schoolkids in addition to having their own school work they have to work on while they too are at home, finishing their Senior year.