Arkansas First Lady Susan Hutchinson visited Cedarville Elementary School on Thursday after 100 books were donated to the school as part of a summer reading program.
Hutchinson said the 2016 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge raised the money to purchase the books, but she was asked to choose a school to receive them.
Hutchinson visited with students on Thursday to talk about the importance of reading and education.
"It’s very important that we all learn to read and learn bigger and bigger words so we can communicate with each other," Hutchinson told the group of 150 elementary students.
Because of her background as a teacher, Hutchinson said one of her favorite activities as first lady is visiting students and schools.
Hutchinson chose Cedarville, she said, because she remembers driving through the small rural city when she and her husband, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, lived in Fort Smith. The couple would drive Arkansas 59 on their trips to Gravette to visit her husband’s family, she said.
Susan Hutchinson also spoke to students on her love of music and how learning to play a musical instrument at a young age can facilitate learning and increase intellect.
Students from the elementary school presented the first lady with a bracelet and chocolate chip cookies to take back to the governor.
"Any time we have a guest like this, we are very honored," said Dan Foreman, Cedarville School District superintendent. "The kids are excited."
Foreman called the donated books a "great asset" to the elementary students.
"Our students work very hard on our reading program, so this fits right in with all we are doing at Cedarville," Foreman said.
School officials have not decided how the books will be utilized during their summer school programs.