Storybook Palooza delights with special readers at library

Left to right: Cullman County Probate Judge Tammy Brown, Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry and East Elementary Principal David Wiggins read in the Cullman County Public Library’s Storybook Palooza Saturday morning, March 7, 2020. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Friends of the Public Libraries of Cullman County (FPLCC) hosted an inspirational “Storybook Palooza” for kids Saturday morning at the Cullman County Public Library. The event featured special guest readers to inspire children to find courage, do the right thing and celebrate diversity.

Special guest readers were Cullman County Probate Judge Tammy Brown, reading Tony and Lauren Dungy’s “Maria Finds Courage;” Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper, reading Florence Perry Heide’s “How to Be a Hero;” Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, reading David McKee’s “Elmer;” and East Elementary Principal David Wiggins, closing the program with Dr. Seuss’ “I Am NOT Going to Get up Today.”

“We wanted to celebrate Read Across America and we wanted our kids, even though they celebrated in school, we wanted them to have a community activity here in the library to celebrate!” smiled FPLCC President Tanya Allcorn. “The big thing we wanted to encourage was for the kids is to read, and enjoy that reading, no matter what.”

FPLCC’s Renee Welsh said, “Principal Wiggins, an avid reader, he’s on social media, he supports the library and grew up in the library. Matt, Kenny and Judge Brown, it was easy for us to make a phone call because they’re prominent figures, but they recognize the importance of the library and they recognize the importance of diversity. Much like Matt Gentry’s point, we’re all in here together and Kenny talked about being a hero. It’s not about saving people’s lives; it’s about standing tall and welcoming folks.”

Allcorn added, “We know our avid readers, and they support us. They love the library, they want us to thrive, and that’s a good partnership with our readers.”

Both Allcorn and Welsh were thankful of those who helped out with the event.

“A big shoutout to East Elementary for loaning us some wonderful decorations from their ‘Seussical Musical!’” exclaimed Welsh.

Allcorn added, “We are so grateful to everyone that came. We’re so grateful to our readers for being a friend to the library. We’re grateful for our special readers’ time; they live busy lives, but they can come and be here and encourage our kids and it gives our kids something to work towards, to see and to enjoy! So, we are extremely grateful to everyone that came. Our readers did a phenomenal job, and they loved doing it, too. They had a great time!”

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