The rotunda at Paducah's City Hall is normally a fairly quiet place on Wednesday mornings. Outside of a few faint voices and the occasional footsteps traveling between offices, the air is calm and still. Early one Wednesday morning in April, however, a child's voice could be heard. "A is for the arts. We love the arts in Paducah because they make our town distinctively creative!"
Other voices followed, reading off additional letters of the alphabet and what they stand for. One of the voices was that of Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler.
“I was thrilled when I first heard about the book, P is for Paducah,” says Mayor Kaler. The book, created by the Paducah Symphony Orchestra in 2012, is a children’s alphabet book that teaches children about Paducah and features beautiful, colorful artwork from local artists. Mayor Kaler also thought it was the perfect book to kick off the Mayor’s Book Club. “My goal is to generate an enthusiasm for reading in this community. I especially want parents to take the time to read to and with their children.”
For the inaugural event, Mayor Kaler asked elementary schools within the Paducah city limits to select five students, one from each grade first through fifth, to come to City Hall and read the book together. Clark Elementary, Community Christian Academy, McNabb Elementary, Morgan Elementary, and St. Mary Elementary participated, and each student was presented with their own copy of P is for Paducah.
Mayor Kaler says, “I want these students to be my reading cheerleaders. My hope is that they return to their schools and read the book to their classmates.” Kaler adds, “This book is a perfect tool to spark discussions about Paducah, its history, landmarks, and people.”
Mayor Kaler plans to work with the McCracken County Public Library for future Mayor’s Book Club events.
To purchase a copy of P is for Paducah, visit www.paducahsymphony.org.