Spearfish first graders get a peak at new book series

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - Students at Spearfish West Elementary were of the first to experience Porter the Hoarder, a new children's book series and interactive reading program.

The brainchildren of the two-year project are United Way and Black Hills Reads. The group funded the creation of the books, the reading program, and reaching 2,000 1st graders in the Black Hills Thursday afternoon.

Producer and writer, Sean Covel; and the illustrator, singer-songwriter Rebecca Swift, both fellow South Dakotans, stopped by to read and give a presentation of the book at Spearfish West Elementary.

One of the series' stories follows the emotional roller coaster of a snappy little girl named Porter.

She must clean her room with the help of the reader and decide what stays and what goes.

"An event like this is a great way to promote the value and parent partnership. We got the great privilege every day to work with young readers, young minds, and we hope that this project really helps tie together the value of parent involvement, reading and reaching those benchmark goals for kids to be effective readers by third grade," said Nick Gottlob, principal with the Spearfish School District.

Each student walked away with their own autographed copy of Porter the Hoarder.

The creators will be signing copies at Books A Million in Rapid City this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

United Way, Black Hills Reads, and the creators said they are all looking forward to the reading initiative expanding.