‘Stop, Drop and Read’ patio dedicated

Published 12:06 pm Friday, September 1, 2017


Visitors to S.P. Morton Elementary School on Wednesday morning made their way through the damp lawn to the new reading area for the Boys & Girls Club, which is housed at the building. They were there to dedicate a space to promote literacy.

There to welcome them were Dr. Sherie Davis, principal, as well as Joan McCullough and Dexter Warren, assistant principals.

“Stop, Drop and Read” is spelled out in the patio brickwork, which includes four benches and some nearby shrubbery. There, youngsters of both the club and school will have a regular opportunities, weather permitting, to read in an outdoor setting.

Eric Taylor, unit director of the club, said all this was made possible through the partnership with Lowe’s and its Heroes Project. Following plans made in June, employees of the local store got the work done within one day this past August. They cleared the space to lay the bricks, planted the greenery and set up the benches, one of which is made of stone.

Before the ceremony, store manager Will Gray said a team of 10 people “really knocked it out and got their hands dirty.” Although the local group does not have any immediate projects in sight, Gray did say that the Lowe’s Heroes in Hampton and Newport News will be doing things for the Boys and Girls clubs of those cities later this month.

Guests for the occasion included Don Spengeman, a retired former principal, and Lisa Francis, who also served at the school as assistant principal. Mayor Frank Rabil called the project, “a wonderful occasion” and thanked all involved. “My hat’s off to you guys.”

Reggie Carter, service director for Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia, said that “Stop, Drop and Read” is a new initiative for Boys & Girls Clubs, and throughout the year “Kids get time out to read. We’re so thankful to Lowe’s [which has been a national partner since 2009]. We can all all celebrate. You are all champions.”

Taylor added, “We look forward to a good year.”

Tamara Sterling, superintendent of Franklin Public Schools, said, “Every child should have a book to read and be inspired.”