WARREN, Ark. (KTHV) -- The morning was just about perfect. A light breeze carried lower than usual temperatures for June in Warren.
The town was busy getting ready for the pink tomato festival. Inside the library there was also construction going on.
The kids wore hard hats as symbols of the theme for this year's summer reading program: Building a Better World. Young readers became actors in a drama that depicted their library as a kingdom more valuable than any they could imagine. Smiles came easily and why wouldn't they: there were prizes to be won.
Arkansas summer reading programs aim to improve literacy rates
Two hours and 42 miles later, kids in McGhee got the same treatment. They too were challenged, incentivized, rewarded, and encouraged. At both places, they had no idea they were involved in the beginning of a new quest.
A quest that begins with the question ‘What if’. What if a growing number of inspired citizens got together statewide and through vigorous encouragement, changed Arkansas, from being near the bottom in literacy to nearing the top.
Now that would be one for the books. This transformation story begins today. We have a long way to go before we get to enlightenment at the end. Just know, it started in Warren and McGhee.