GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Webster Elementary wants to instill a passion in its students for reading. It’s all a part of the school’s “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” event.

Law enforcement, professional football players, and more spent their afternoon reading to students attending Webster Elementary, students say the visit inspires them. 

“It means a lot to me, I really enjoy reading during my free time,” said Hayley Vandenheuvel, a fifth-grader teacher at Webster Elementary. 

School leaders say reading is one of the most essential skills a person can have. 

“There is reading everywhere, if you are going to take public transportation to know the map routes, if you are going to sign up and get a job application, you need to know how to read a lot of that so it’s really a fundamental stepping stone into everything else that life has to offer,” stated Hannah Giesick, a Webster Elementary Social Worker.

Literacy coach Todd Lowney says preparing students for a world of reading will equip them for success.

“There’s a huge banner outside of our school that says 20 minutes a day birth to five, the students will come in knowing nine million words, so if you have a home where reading does not happen when those kids are little just imagine the number of words that they don’t come in hearing into kindergarten, “said Lowney.

Hayley recommends reading books that appeal to you to develop enjoyable reading habits.

“Find the thing that inspires you the most and then find the right book that would interest you, like drawing you could find a drawing book, or singing, you could find a book that talk’s about singing,” said Vandenheuvel. 

This is Webster’s first time hosting the event and they plan to host it again next year.