‘Read Across Tyler’ Connects Community, Students in Fun Read-Aloud Initiative

Tyler community members are joining with Tyler ISD in a fun, interactive read-aloud event called Read Across Tyler. The virtual event is part of National Reading Month. It aims to bring the community together to foster a love of reading among students.

“There has been so much excitement in our community, and even outside of our community, about building a love of reading for our students,” Tyler ISD Media Technology Specialist Melisa LeBlanc said. “It’s been super fun to see it all come together.”

March is designated as National Reading Month and March 1-5 is Read Across America Week. Schools celebrate reading with fun and engaging activities that include various guest readers in classrooms. However, this year campuses are limiting visitors due to the pandemic, so like most everything else, the event was moved to a virtual format.

“We invited community members to join us using the Flipgrid platform to video themselves reading a book out loud,” LeBlanc explained. “Students are then able to access the Flipgrid library throughout the week of March 1-5 to hear and see fun stories come alive by the readers.”

More than 50 community members have participated including Tyler’s Mayor, city and county officials, local media personalities, and community leaders.

“Switching to a virtual format has actually produced positive outcomes on so many levels,” LeBlanc said. “Students get to see that everyone can enjoy reading and students District-wide have access to the same community leaders and stories that would usually only be available to that one classroom.”

The virtual format also allows volunteers to participate who are not local to our community. LeBlanc said they even had a few readers from other countries participate.

To keep in compliance with copyright laws, Read Across Tyler is only viewable by Tyler ISD students and staff. For more information, please contact Jennifer Hines at 903-262-1064.

Tyler Mayor Don Warren