Helena City Council recognizes Read Across Helena Week, star student athletes

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, March 2, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

HELENA – The Helena City Council took the time to acknowledge some special members of Helena’s school system at their meeting on Monday, Feb. 28.

First, Mayor Brian Puckett announced that the week of Feb. 28 through March 4 would be Read Across Helena Week. Schools across Helena are participating in the literary celebration week by encouraging the students to share their favorite books and even participating in fun dress up days. Helena Middle School recently shared photos of their students dressed as their favorite book characters to participate in the festivities.

“This week is an amazing week in the city of Helena,” Puckett said. “Across the country they’re doing Read Across America, but we’re doing Read Across Helena.”

Puckett invited principals and teachers from Helena schools up to the podium so he could present them with a special proclamation thanking them for their dedication to spreading literacy. Present were Principals Genet Holcomb of Helena Elementary, Matthew Epps of Helena Middle School, Sasha Baker from the Intermediate School, Ashley Bahr from Helena High School and Dan Dearing, director of the Helena Library.

“These five individuals are just a tiny bit that help our community and make [they] sure [students] have the resources they need and have the motivation they need in order to be successful with their reading. We want to push and encourage students to read any and all books. The city of Helena recognizes the importance of reading, and we want to instill that all students and adults in the community have access to those resources.”

Following the proclamation the Council honored two Helena High School track and field athletes who have exhibited exemplary work in the athletics department. First was Brooklyn Kirksey, who was the 2022 AHSAA Pentathlon Runner-up, the 6A State Indoor Long Jump Runner Up, and received fourth place in the 6A State Indoor 60m. Following Kirksey was Aspen Warren, who received fifth place in the 6A State Indoor 800m.

In her closing council comments, Councilmember Leigh Hulsey praised both Kirksey and Warren for their hard work and determination.

Councilmember Chris VanCleave also took the time to praise the educators, principals and students present that he said continue to stand as a shining example of what makes Helena so special.