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Chuck Coldiron introduces Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear at the third annual “Feed the Mind” literacy event.

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto joined more than 900 third-grade students in Pulaski County on Wednesday for the third annual “Feed the Mind” event to celebrate reading and promote literacy throughout the region.

“Reading is a fundamental skill that lays the foundation for better learning and critical thinking in schools and throughout life,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Programs like ‘Feed the Mind’ are especially valuable because they help instill both the fun and importance of reading to students at a young age.”

Third-grade students from all eight elementary schools in the Pulaski County School District, Hopkins Elementary School in Somerset Independent School District, Science Hill Independent School District, and Somerset Christian School attended the event on April 10 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Each student received a free children’s book and pizza lunch. The celebration also included a variety of games and special activities demonstrating that education can be fun. Local school leaders and school mascots even participated in friendly competitions, further energizing the day and the importance of literacy.

“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for this event that is coming from leaders such as Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto,” said Somerset businessman and “Feed the Mind” organizer Chuck Coldiron. “The support of our local schools and administrators has given rise to a program that is gaining statewide prominence.”

Last month, “Feed the Mind-Kentucky,” a statewide event, attracted 4,000 fourth-grade students from across Central Kentucky to Rupp Arena in Lexington to help Mrs. Beshear kick off Kentucky’s Third Annual Literacy Celebration Week.

Mrs. Beshear challenged business and community leaders in the Lake Cumberland area meeting to expand the “Feed the Mind” literacy program on a regional level in the future.

“I applaud the work of Chuck Coldiron and the Somerset community for their dedication to promoting literacy among students,” she said, “and I look forward to many more ‘Feed the Mind’ events in other communities across Kentucky.”

Mrs. Beshear invited Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, wife of the president of the University of Kentucky, to be her special guest at the “Feed the Mind” Somerset event.

“It’s a pleasure to join First Lady Beshear in support of the ‘Feed the Mind’ reading initiative,” said Dr. Capilouto. “Improving early childhood literacy is an essential building block for enriching young minds and ensuring their long-term success in all walks of life.”

The “Feed the Mind” event was started three years ago by Coldiron in partnership with the nonprofit organizations Forward in the Fifth and The Center to get students excited about reading and learning.

“Events like this further demonstrate the importance of our daily work as educators and community leaders—ensuring our students of today become our great leaders of tomorrow,” said Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth. “The common threads of this task include being literate and life-long learners.”

The “Feed the Mind” event was sponsored by the Office of the First Lady, Forward in the Fifth, The Center for Rural Development, organizer Chuck Coldiron, Donatos, Hyundai of Somerset, and Clear Channel Lake Cumberland.

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