Miss Alabama spends some time at EA

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

By By James Crawford
News Editor
Escambia Academy lived out the adage that if you do something good, something good will happen to you in return. After enduring several days of non-stop reading for a good cause their good deed was rewarded on Monday when Miss Alabama Scarlotte Deupree stopped by EA to participate in the school's Reading Relay and then spoke to seniors on the importance of community service and never quitting.
Deupree lent a hand in EA's effort to battle cancer by donating a portion of her morning to read several selections of stories to elementary-grade children. After the reading, she spoke to seniors and juniors in the gymnasium about struggling against adversity, citing several examples from the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and also on getting involved with events and activities in the community.
"I think the reading is wonderful. That's what I wanted to talk them about today is getting involved and what they are doing right now with the reading relay is exactly what I'm talking about. I think it's the neatest thing. I'm glad to have been able to participate," Deupree said.
After she spoke, she invited questions from the crowd and to her credit came up with quick responses to a barrage of humorous questions, including two invitations to the prom from well-meaning senior boys and several requests for her to sing.
Deupree, who is a strong advocate for adult literacy, said she relished the opportunity to speak with the children about reading and hoped she could inspire the older students to keep trying for their goals. "I speak a lot on community service but you can't always talk about that to K-4 kids, so I get to talk to them about how much fun reading is," Deupree said.
"While I read, I asked them questions such as why is reading important and the insight they have is amazing. You can tell they've put some thought into what reading is all about and that is a testament to their teachers and to their parents," Deupree said.
Deupree became involved with community service by starting an adult literacy program in her hometown when she was 17. She was named Miss Alabama in 2002 and was named first runner up in the Miss America Pageant last year on a Quality of Life platform. She has been honored with several awards for her work with combating adult literacy and her focus on women's education and empowerment.

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