Growing up around books
It’s no surprise Kelly loves to read: she grew up around books. Her mother, a librarian, brought Kelly to the library, where she read everything and anything.
Although reading is often considered a solitary activity, Kelly has never thought of it as such. As a student, she remembers her classmates enjoying the “Goosebumps” books with the lights off and a flashlight under their chins.
“Often, you think of reading as sitting by yourself and being quiet. But it could also be an incredibly fun, social experience,” says the former education director. “I want that for our kids.”
‘What are you reading?’
While students often equate reading with homework, Kelly wants them to know that it’s fun, too. As she walks the halls of HCZ Promise Academy, Kelly will exchange book recommendations with scholars.
“I ask our scholars, ‘What are you reading.’ It’s because I want to read it, too,” says the education director turned assistant principal. “I’ve read more ‘Captain Underpants’ than I know what to do with.”
One of the best ways to get Kelly’s recommendations is the book vending machine — a fully operational vending machine that gives scholars a best-selling book with a special token. Scholars receive a token when they read the most books for the week.