First Lady Elee Reeves promotes joy of reading with new book

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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NATCHEZ, Miss. (WLBT) - Reading opens the door to explore new possibilities.

That’s why First Lady Elee Reeves is traveling around to school districts in the state to distribute her new activity book initiative to make a positive impact on the younger generation.

Fourth graders at Susie B. West Elementary got a special visitor Monday: Mississippi’s Elee Reeves - and she came bearing gifts.

“I created a color activity book called ‘Mississippi’s Fred the Turtle,’” she said. Each book even comes with a pack of crayons to help Fred complete his journey.

“Fred goes on an amazing adventure throughout the state. He starts on the Gulf Coast, goes all the way up to the Delta and comes back down to the Gulf Coast,” the author explained.

The book is funded by a grant through The Casey Foundation.

First Lady Reeves says although the book has a variety of fun activities, it is designed to encourage students to take part in “engaging and thought-provoking conversations” that are “critical to child development and problem-solving skills.”

“This book talks about how to be courageous,” she said, “how to be brave and how to make friends, so we’re trying to think about things to make them look inside and think of ways to say, I am a great person and I have this great superpower and I want to share it with others, and how they can take their reading to the next level.”

Student Kaliya McMorris couldn’t wait to crack open the book and check it out.

“Why not try to read it and look through it, because the First Lady said she likes it so I will probably like to try to,” she said.

She says it was pretty cool having First Lady Reeves at her school. “It was awesome meeting her for the first time, and she was very nice and everything, so I would love to meet her again.”

The book is initially distributed to elementary schools in five districts, including: Natchez-Adams County, South-Delta, Kemper, Jefferson County and Claiborne County School Districts.   

The First Lady and her team are currently working to secure additional funding sources so Fred the Turtle can reach more students throughout the state.

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