VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – From a school parade to read-alongs with guest readers and a selection of hundreds of books to choose from, it was a fun-filled week celebrating Read Across America at Sherman Avenue Elementary School in Vicksburg.

Some of the kids came dressed as their favorite storybook characters.

It’s a tradition year after year for Lieutenant Curtis Judge of the Vicksburg Police Department to come and read to the kids.

“Just interacting with the kids, getting them to answer questions from the stories to see if they’re paying attention to you” he said.

“I read books at home and one of my favorites is ‘Should I Share My Ice Cream?’,” said one student.

Citgo Corporation partners with the Mobility Literacy Outreach, ‘Bess the Book Bus.’ Thanks to the partnership, at least 500 books are delivered every year to Sherman Avenue Elementary School, one of among dozens of schools.

“This is the fun side of it,” said Sharon Williams, Director of Literacy at United Way of West Mississippi.

Williams has come full circle, dedicating years as a teacher in the Vicksburg-Warren School District, and ultimately retiring as an administrator.

Many recognize the importance of fueling a love of reading at a young age in the classroom and at home.

“I didn’t read much growing up in my later years, but now it’s one of my hobbies,” said Mark Gehris.