'Rockin' Readers' program promotes early literacy, leadership

FLORENCE, AZ - Educating Arizona through reading and community connections. American Leadership Academy's Anthem South campus in Florence is launching its "Rockin' Readers" program as a way to promote early literacy and inspire students.

The idea was born from the iconic rocking chairs outside Cracker Barrel restaurants.

"I thought you know what, why don't we have members of our community come in and read to our kids right here in these types of rocking chairs," said the school's Director Bryan Foster.

Local lawmakers, first responders and community volunteers, all turning pages in classrooms on campus. Sharing lessons that go far beyond literacy.

"When they get to see those communities, members come in and visit with them and build these relationships of trust with them, and hopefully be inspired by some of the actions they've done," Foster said.

Rick Milligan served more than 28 years in the Army and was more than happy to take a seat in Mrs. Traynor's first-grade class.

"It's good to know that people actually know the sacrifice," he said.

Milligan not only enjoys reading to the students, he also hopes to pass along his own passion for service.

"Patriotism, stuff like that, a lot of these things have kind of slid a bit," Milligan said. "I think if I can help bring that back in the fold I feel good doing that."

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