Thompson reads to Academy children

Published 5:45 am Monday, March 21, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
While some people do walk-athons, marathons, and relay races for Relay for Life to help fight cancer, Escambia Academy takes a different approach; they read.
Someone was reading non-stop, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week in the EA Elementary library the week March 11-18.
"It's the Student Government Association's project and the whole school is participating," the event's coordinator Julie Johnson said.
The students try to get people to sponsor them based on the number of books they read. Elementary school classes come to the library through the day to read and guest speakers read to the children as well.
"Each night during the week a different high school class sleeps in the auditorium," Johnson said. "Teens sign up to read throughout the night and kids sign up during the day. We have guest readers throughout the week and one special guest reader each year."
This year's special guest reader was John Edd Thompson, the weatherman for Fox 10 News in Mobile.
Thompson actually began his broadcast career in Atmore more than 40 years ago.
"I used to work at WATM radio in Atmore in about 1962 or 1963," Thompson said.
Jane Corman, who is on the school board for Escambia Academy, contacted Thompson about reading to the elementary age children.
"Mrs. Corman called and asked me to come up this week for the Relay," Thompson said.
Thompson had planned a trip to Nashville with his wife and decided to make a side trip to Atmore on the way.
Part of the money raised goes to Relay for life and part goes to a service project for the Student Government Association.
"They give to Relay for Life and they do a special project," Thompson said. "One year it was an intercom system because the school had never had one before. Another year, it was the sign outside and last year it went to furniture in the new office."
It's not just children and volunteers that read either.
"We have family reading every afternoon from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. and through the weekend," Thompson said. "We set it up for 20-minute increments."
According to Thompson this is the SGA's largest fundraiser each year and is one of the school's largest each year.
(Editor's Note: Look in future editions of the Advance for the total amount of funds raised by Escambia Academy's SGA.)

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