mayor-myra-l-taylor_read_web.jpgOPA-LOCKA — Mayor Myra L. Taylor read parts of Aesop’s Fables and other short stories to students of Grace Academy in Opa-locka as part of the city library’s observance of National Library Week.

“The more you read, the more you know,” Taylor told the kindergarten to sixth grade students.

This was the fourth year that the Opa-locka Library Branch, which opened in the summer of 2007, has invited county, city and community leaders to help salute National Library Week, April 10-16.

The mayor read to the students on April 12 at the library, which is located at 780 Fisherman St. and is a branch of the Miami-Dade County Library.

The National Book Committee started National Library Week in 1957 to encourage people to read and, hence, support and use libraries. The committee disbanded in 1974 and the week is now sponsored by the American Library Association.

Taylor stressed the importance of reading and using the library as a resource and an asset to help the youth advance in education, according to a statement from the city.

She  encouraged parents to take their children to the library and called on kids to read not only to themselves, but also to their parents.

“Reading will expose the children to places outside of the city of Opa-locka,” she said.

The Lion and the Mouse was among the stories the mayor selected to read to the students, who offered comments and giggles as she mimicked the voice of  a tiny animated rodent promising to return one day to help the Lion if he did not eat her; he didn’t and she did return.   Taylor asked the children about the moral of the story and she was bombarded with answers ranging from “You never know when you’re gonna need help” to “Be nice to others so they will be nice to you” and “Even small animals can help.” 

The mayor told them the most important lesson she learned from the tale was, “Keep your promise.”  She then promised the students that the more they read, “the more you’ll understand the world around us.”  She urged them to write a story the way the mouse in The Library Mouse did and promised to read each of their stories if they are sent to her office.