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Santa stops to read to Dowling students

Santa Claus made a quick stop at Dowling Elementary School to read a Christmas story to a group of students on Wednesday.

The jolly old elf brought along some jingle bells that were passed around during Y Reads With You, Literacy Program. Employees with Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur are volunteering their time to read to the students and bring some holiday cheer.

Santa Claus poses for a photo with Dowling Elementary School student Rylan Johnson during Y Reads With You, Literacy Program with the help of Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur volunteers on Wednesday. Mary Meaux/The News

Santa Claus poses for a photo with Dowling Elementary School student Rylan Johnson during Y Reads With You, Literacy Program with the help of Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur volunteers on Wednesday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Claire Jackson with Flint Hills Resources said they are proud to partner with the Y program that impacts students and improves literacy.

Jody Holton, marketing director with the YMCA, said helping students read is an important step for the children’s education.

“They are getting a human touch. This is very one-on-one,” Holton said of the Y Reads With You Literacy Program. “We have learned that if a child is not reading well by the third grade chances increase for them to drop out of school later.”

Santa Claus reads Pete the Cat Saves Christmas to Dowling Elementary School students during Y Reads With You, Literacy Program with the help of Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur volunteers on Wednesday. Mary Meaux/The News

Santa Claus reads Pete the Cat Saves Christmas to Dowling Elementary School students during Y Reads With You, Literacy Program with the help of Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur volunteers on Wednesday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Santa and the Flint Hills group are visiting four Port Arthur schools this week and reading to students. Jackson said Flint Hills is looking to volunteer reading every Thursday at Lucian Adams Elementary School for the rest of the school year.

“We are very proud to partner with Flint Hills and in the partnership we are building a stronger Port Arthur through education,” Holton said.

The literacy program began five years ago with about 40 students in one school. Today they are working at four schools and hope to grow the program to include even more schools.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews