First Lady of Alabama congratulates VIS students

First Lady of Alabama Dianne Bentley read to Valley Intermediate School students on Oct. 22. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

First Lady of Alabama Dianne Bentley read to Valley Intermediate School students on Oct. 22. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Valley Intermediate School students received special congratulations from First Lady of Alabama Dianne Bentley on Oct. 22 for their accomplishment in the 2014 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

With nearly 750,000 minutes of reading logged during the competition, the VIS students took first place in Alabama and came in 65th out of more than 7,000 schools that participated worldwide. This is the second year in a row that VIS has taken first in the state in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

“All of us are so proud of your accomplishment,” VIS Principal Robin Hollingsworth said to the students. “We’ll shoot for this again next year.”

Bentley also congratulated the students for their hard work in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, explaining one of her goals is helping students across Alabama to “learn to love to read.”

“It’s really exciting to me,” Bentley said of the VIS students’ accomplishment two years in a row. “Evidently they’re doing a great job here (at VIS).”

VIS Librarian Mary Foy was presented with a special plaque from the First Lady of Alabama congratulating the school and students.

Bentley read “Night in the Barn” by Alabama author Faye Gibbons aloud to the children, told them some fun Alabama state facts and talked about life in the Governor’s Mansion.

“I have made it my goal to restore it and make it historically correct,” Bentley said of the 107 year-old mansion. “It is my honor and privilege to live there.”

The students got the chance to interact with the First Lady of Alabama and ask her questions about her life in Montgomery. Many were curious about day-to-day life in the Governor’s Mansion.

“Everyday there’s something unique,” Bentley said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”

Bentley not only encouraged the students to visit Montgomery and tour the Governor’s Mansion and State Capitol building, she also encouraged them to explore the state, siting many of the great attractions found in Alabama, such as the Talladega Superspeedway and Blue Bell ice cream plant.

“I like to say Alabama is a little America,” Bentley said. “We just have a wonderful state.”