Thursday, May 17, 2012

News Article: Times Daily

Dianne Bentley visits local schools to donate books
By Hannah Mask
Staff Writer
Alabama’s first lady Dianne Bentley stood in front of a colorful patchwork “quilt” made from paper squares decorated by Phil Campbell second-graders as she read to the elementary students Wednesday afternoon.
The students learned Bentley used to be in a quilting guild and welcomed her by creating their own masterpiece, Principal Jackie Ergle said.
Phil Campbell Elementary was Bentley’s last of four stops made to deliver books to tornado-ravaged schools. Scholastic Publishing Company donated the 500 books she divided between Phil Campbell and Hackleburg elementary schools, along with Plainview Elementary in Rainsville and Moody Elementary in Moody.
“We just appreciate that she chose our school,” Ergle said. “It’s something our children will never forget.”
This is Bentley’s second year serving as a Scholastic Reading Ambassador, and she said it was important to donate to schools that suffered after April 27, 2011’s tornadoes.
“Last year (when I was donating), the tornadoes had just struck, and many of the schools didn’t have anywhere to store books,” Bentley said. “This year we asked whether the torn schools could receive books ... and we found four that could.”
After Bentley finished reading Alabama author Faye Gibbons’ book “Night in the Barn,” children lined up to ask questions such as what it means to be the state’s first lady and whether the Bentleys own a dog.
One third-grader wondered what Gov. Robert Bentley does every day at work.
“Right now, he’s dealing with the Legislature, which is a governing body,” Bentley explained. “They have to work back and forth to get the laws just right, which is very hard, because there are a lot of people to please.”
Bentley visited Hackleburg Elementary School earlier this week.
“Gov. Bentley and his wife have been very supportive of our school, town and community since the EF5 tornado on April 27 (2011),” said Hackleburg Elementary Principal Joan Baker.
“It’s so meaningful for us to have love and support for our school and to have (Bentley) take time out of her busy day to read to our elementary students. It means the world to us to have the opportunity to meet her.”
Hannah Mask can be reached at 256-740-5728 or

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