Ohio First Lady visits Troy to read to kindergarteners


TROY – Heywood Elementary School kindergarten students had a special guest for story time Thursday, Sept. 8, as Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine read a book to them after they traveled to the Troy-Miami County Public Library for the first field trip of their school careers.

“It’s always fun to be with kids, and I love coming to Troy,” DeWine said. “I have relatives here in Miami County, so I’ve come to Troy many, many times. The kids were good.”

DeWine read “Coat of Many Colors,” by Dolly Parton, to the 48 students from the kindergarten classes of Heywood teachers Makayla Bender, Karly Douglas and Meredith Fiely. DeWine and the Troy-Miami County Public Library both are supporters of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program.

“This was a different kind of book; this was the one Dolly gave us, and so I wanted to read it,” DeWine said. “I learned a lot of things from the kids. They don’t understand what a needle is and what a thread is. So next time I read that book to kids, I’m going to bring my needle and thread and some of my patchwork and make them understand what it is.”

The kindergarten students walked from Heywood Elementary School to the library under the watchful eye of their teachers, other Heywood staff members, chaperones, Principal Maurice Sadler and School Resource Officer Tracy Long.

“On a practical level, we’re just excited to get the kids on a field trip after less than two weeks of school,” Sadler said. “We were very happy our school resource officer was able to support us and we had all hands on deck with the teachers walking the kids here. My first priority was safety and getting the kids here.”

Once at the library, the students did a craft project before listening to story time with First Lady Fran DeWine.

“From an educational point of view, it was amazing to introduce some of our kindergartners to the local library and all the resources it provides,” Sadler said. “A lot of them have not been to the library in their lives before. Thirdly, to be able to have someone of the stature of Fran DeWine, who clearly supports literacy and the Dolly Parton Imagination Program, to be able to have our students hear her read stories and do activities here at the library was amazing as well.”

Fong is the Troy City Schools director of communications.

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