Parent volunteer Taylor White loves to dive into his favorite books with his kindergarten, second and fourth grade friends at Rice Elementary School. Wearing fun costumes that match the theme of the book, Taylor brings stories alive every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And judging from their smiles and laugher as they anxiously sit and listen to his stories, students enjoy every minute of this special time.
Taylor says he and his wife, Jennifer, decided they would be heavily involved in their children’s school activities after moving them to Rice from a local private school. Their involvement includes Jennifer serving as co-president of the PTA, and Taylor helping with traffic duty, morning drop off and more. He encourages all parents to get involved any way they can.
“We are all busy and we have to be intentional about where we invest our time,” Taylor said. “Let’s not find ourselves looking back in 10 years thinking of all the opportunities we missed with our kiddos.”
“Reading to the classes has been absolutely the best experience,” he continued. “Surprisingly the 4th grade class is most appreciative. These kids are at an age that parents don’t really read aloud to them anymore. However, they still want it, and treasure that time.”
His company, Freedom Financial Group, even sponsored a field trip for the 4th grade class he reads to; enjoying dinner at Ken’s Pizza in Tyler followed by a group of parents caravanning to watch a play at the Longview Artsview Children’s Theatre. The play was a story they had just finished reading together.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed Mr. White’s visits as he truly brings a book to life with his charismatic and vibrant personality,” kindergarten teacher, Brittany Mathis said. “He genuinely makes sure that every one of my students feels important and loved when he is in the room. Every Friday morning, my students eagerly await his entrance into the room to discover what character he will be that day. It has been such a wonderful integration into our weekly routine that provides a safe and fun environment to get my students excited about reading.”