Students dressed in bright blue shirts sat attentively as City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin read from “Snoopy Blasts Off,” while McDonald’s owner and operator Vincent Hale held up the book so the student could see the pictures.
“I have a 3-year old little girl and I read to her, and today I’m going to read to you,” she told the students before she started. “Reading is very important and you have to start young.”
Conyears-Ervin read to students at Fifth City Child Development Institute on the West Side during lunch time and at Chicago Youth Programs on the South Side after school. “This means so much to me because this is what I fight for every day,” she said.
Conyears-Ervin said it is important to make sure children on the South and West Sides are included in conversations about educational programs and resources. She said she was very happy that McDonald’s included books in the Happy Meals. The initiative was a partnership between McDonald’s and NASA.
Conyears-Ervin introduced herself and told the students about her job. “I read numbers for a living. My name is Melissa and I’m the city treasurer,” she said. “I work with $8 billion … what I do with the money is I protect it.”
As each student left, they received a copy of the book. Conyears-Ervin encouraged the children, “You know how you’ll become really, really smart? If you read at home,” she said. “Take the book home and have your parent and grandparents read to you.”