Barbara McVicker, a longtime local preschool teacher, is currently presenting an activity for her students in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is getting help and encouragement from around the world.

McVicker said the Read Around the World asks parents to read to their children and for children to read their own books.

She said the activity was something positive and fun to keep kids learning during the shutdowns caused by the pandemic.

McVicker has received book titles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, across the U.S., Japan, Africa, and Denmark.

She said they started out with a goal of 100 books read. After meeting that goal, they aimed for 200, then 300 and are now are going for 400 books read.

McVicker said Makendra from Indiana has read the most books. She said the U.S. VI is next in line with the most books read.

McVicker said there are several daycare providers in the Hoopeston and Rossville area who are also helping them meet their goals.

In addition, McVicker said they have received emails of encouragement from two children’s authors- Debbie Clements and Jan Brett.

They also received an email of encouragement from a double-amputee person who is in the process of reaching his goal of sailing around the world on his boat alone. Before the pandemic, he had visited 30 countries. He is originally from Hawaii. After being in a motorcycle accident and losing his arm and leg, McVicker said he decided not to give up but to push on. He also provided McVickers’ class with pictures of different animals and one of children he has met on his travel journeys.

In addition to these calls of support, McVicker said her class has also received emails from the Youth Literature Festival and WILL Education Program in the U.S.