Just days before the start of school, it was all about hitting the books at Panama City's After School Assistance Program. Today they held their 6th annual 'Read In', as ASAP tried to emphasize the importance of reading to area kids.
The idea was born 6 years ago, in an attempt to honor one of their biggest supporters.
"Ms. Kendall Middlemas, she was a lady that was in our birthday club that had a passion for ASAP and reading, so we just do this for her and her family," ASAP Executive Director Terri Gainer said.
Kids sat attentively as guest after guest shuffled in the room to read.
"We've had the mayor, the former mayor, commissioners, fire chiefs," Gainer said.
Fire Chief Wayne Watts with the Panama City Fire Department was one of the special guest readers Thursday.
"I enjoy reading to kids," Chief Watts said. "I've always read to my children, now I read to my grandchildren so it's a lot of fun."
Students were appreciative of the guests.
"It's awesome that they're taking time from their schedule today just to read to us," 9 year old ASAP student Payton Thayer said.
Gainer says this is exactly what these kids need.
"This is a way to not only show them how important it is to read on a daily basis, but get ready to go back to school," Gainer said.
The event is set to run until 7 Friday morning.