Terrance Rogers opened the book and turned to the first page, as four small children looked at him, waiting.
“At the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows,” he began, reading the first two lines of “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.
His reading session was part of the Joliet Job Corps Center’s participation in national Read Across America Day on March 1. Terrance joined fellow student Bobbie Johnson to read to children at the Forest Park Community Center. The Read Across America event was a companion event to Job Corps’ Reading to Lead initiative.
“Reading is really important. You have to be able to read well to succeed, especially in your career,” Terrance said.
“I like to read,” Bobbie said. “And it’s really fun to read to little kids. They enjoy it so much.”
Indeed, the preschoolers seemed to enjoy the sounds of the words and story of the Lorax, the Once-ler and the Truffula Trees.
“I love to have people read to our children,” said Bettye Gavin, the executive director of the community center and a Joliet City Councilwoman. “It helps them learn to appreciate books and reading.”
When Terrance finished, he asked the children if they would like to hear another story. With their encouragement, he went on to his next book.