Employees volunteer to read with local students before work

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Employees volunteer to read with local students before work

May 26, 2017

Before heading to the office to begin their workday, a group of Southern Company general counsel and corporate compliance employees made a special stop at a local elementary school where they spent the morning reading to students as part of Page Turners Make Great Learners Read-a-Thon program. 

Page Turners, a nonprofit literacy organization, held their 12th literacy event of the school year at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School, a recently STEM certified school. As part of our value of Total Commitment to the community, employees volunteer their time each year to connect and engage with students. “Our goal is to touch every student, in every classroom. We want to expand their knowledge and understanding through literacy,” FeFe Handy, the president and founder of Page Turners explained.

Southern Company Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Myra Bierria, joined volunteers reading books
to Pre-K through second grade classrooms. “My hope is that, through reading, the kids are inspired by the possibilities of what they can do and realize that life is more than what they see around them,” Myra said after reading to one class. She then joined an intimate group of five students on the floor to read more books when one
of the students offered to read to her.

In addition to reading, employees took time to answer questions from the students. One boy asked employee
Lori Beth Morris if her job is “the one who fixes power during the storms.” Lori said, “In my third year of doing this, I’ve learned the children love to ask questions and learn about our business and how we serve our community.”

After reading to students, everyone gathered in the library to surprise one special reader. Myra and Southern Company presented second grader, Corinthians Reynolds, with a kindle e-reader for being the most accelerated reader of the school year. When asked how many books he read, Corinthians let out a huge smile saying he couldn’t keep count!

Southern Company partnered with McGuireWoods for the event. Both companies donated books to go towards the school’s new STEM curriculum.