Arthur’s Grand Tour brings reading to area classrooms

Published 12:42 am Friday, February 17, 2023

Arthur’s Grand Tour is underway from Lamar State College Port Arthur directly to classrooms across the city and beyond.

Surrounding schools can schedule a visit from mascot Arthur while simultaneously having someone read to their class. 

Outreach Coordinator Roger Turcios Jr. said the concept arose at the conclusion of last semester, when the Pathway to Excellence department was organizing initiatives to enhance community relations. 

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“We didn’t want to leave out the youngsters as we explored methods to get more connected to the individuals around us,” Turcios said. “We wanted to find a way to interact with them that was fun, memorable and educational. So far, Arthur the Seahawk has visited over 40 classrooms, reaching over 800 students. Seeing the students smile and run to hug Arthur has to be the most satisfying part of the experience!”

Schools and/or interested educators can contact Turcios at to schedule a visit. Visits are free for neighboring campuses.

“We want participating schools and administrators to know that we are always willing to collaborate with our community,” Turcios said. “Although the young prek-2nd graders are not yet of the age to enroll at the campus, we wanted to engage with them and give them an unforgettable experience. It’s great to watch the students smile and be eager to be with Arthur the Seahawk.”

Organizers realize the intended age group’s attention span is less than 20 minutes, so there is a twist of bringing the mascot to the readings. By seeing Arthur, students could be more inclined to listen to the reader. 

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to make a difference in all students, but for those few, we are grateful to be able to provide an enjoyable experience,” Turcios said.

Yadira Hernandez, workforce development counselor at Lamar State College Port Arthur, is a bilingual reader for Arthur’s Grand Tour.

“As a parent of a bilingual child, I was very excited when this opportunity was presented to me,” Hernandez said. “The excitement grew more once I was able to participate and read to children in my native tongue. Feeling the children’s positive energy, and seeing their face light up when they see Arthur walking into their classroom is priceless.”

Bob Hope Elementary and Port Arthur ISD elementary campuses are among the ones who have had visits from Arthur.