Blossomtime kings and queens visit Ottawa Elementary, promote literacy

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

As part of its week of community visits, the community kings and queens of the 2017 Blossomtime pageant paid a visit to Ottawa Elementary School in Buchanan.

Members of the pageant helped recite the Pledge of Allegiance, paraded through the halls — high-fiving students along the way — and read books in classrooms.

“It was a privilege for these students [the Blossomtime kings and queens] to come and visit us,” said Brenda Hess, the mayor of Buchanan and the Ottawa employee who organized the event. “We are honored and pleased that Dylan [Catalano, Mr. Buchanan and first runner-up to Mr. Blossomtime] and Andrea [Bair, Miss Buchanan] are representing our community in such a positive way.”

As part of the stop, pageant members — including Addison Davies, Miss Niles — helped to promote the school’s summer reading program, which aims to improve childhood literacy.

“They set a tone for the younger children by coming and sharing books,” Hess said. “That makes reading cool for our students!”

Hess said that Buchanan has three free mini-libraries around town where people are able to exchange books.

“The idea is, if you have a book put it in there, if you want a book take one. They’re open 24 hours a day,” she said. “There are all kinds of different books, but the children’s books are the most popular.”

The mini-libraries are situated in newspaper boxes located at the duck pond and at Kathryn and Haider parks.

Bair ended the morning by presenting Hess with a poster for the support she and school have shown to the Blossomtime pageant.  The court hurriedly filled back onto its chariot — a Cardinal bus — to zoom to Edwardsburg and Watervliet.