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Kehoes share love of reading with grade schoolers

by Anna Campbell | March 8, 2022 at 11:39 p.m.
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe reads a book "Satchel Paige at the State Fair" to fourth graders at Pioneer Trail Elementary School Tuesday. Kehoe and second lady Claudia Kehoe both read to fourth and fifth graders for JC Reads Week. Following the book readings, both Kehoes answerred a number of questions from the curious students. (Julie Smith/News Tribune)

The Jefferson City School District is celebrating reading this week under the theme “Soar with Reading,” and Pioneer Trails students got a visit from some special guests Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and his wife, Claudia, visited fourth- and fifth-grade students to read to them, answer some questions and explain the importance of reading.

Kehoe’s visit marks the second day of JC Reads Week, which is intended to get children excited about reading.

Pioneer Trail librarian Kaitie Bax said the week’s activities, which include guest readers, trivia, prizes for being “caught” reading, and “drop everything and read,” urge a love of reading, which she said can be lost in the current day.

Kehoe told children reading has been vital to every job he’s done.

“I’m going to tell you that it’s really, really important, no matter what you want to do, to learn how to read and read well,” he told them.

The lieutenant governor brought a book called “Satchel Paige at the State Fair,” which was written by Paige’s daughter and told the true story of their family visiting the Missouri State Fair.

Claudia Kehoe read “Tiny the Missouri Easter Bunny,” a story about an elephant that filled in for the Easter bunny and delivered Easter eggs all across the state.

When Mike and Claudia Kehoe finished reading, the children were allowed to ask questions. And ask they did.

They wanted to know the lieutenant governor’s favorite Disney character (Snow White), his favorite animal (a horse, because he likes riding horses) and if there’s an Area 51 (if he knew, he couldn’t tell them). Students also asked about their work, their family and the state Capitol. Kehoe told children about his position as lieutenant governor and about parts of the Capitol.

Mike Kehoe said he and Claudia came out to be a part of JC Reads Week to “encourage kids to read and understand the  fundamentals.”

“Reading has had an incredible impact on my life, and so even if you’re in business, or you’re at the state Capitol, or whatever your job is, you have to read a lot. So being able to read and comprehend is really important,” Kehoe said.


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