ACPS and Alexandria Firefighters and Sheriff’s Office Launch ‘Community Heroes Read Across Alexandria’

ACPS is delighted to launch “Community Heroes Read Across Alexandria,” a new three-year initiative with the Alexandria Fire Department, the Black Fire Service Professionals of Alexandria and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

The initiative will facilitate our local community heroes serving as guest readers in ACPS elementary classrooms across the City. In addition to promoting the importance of literacy, these community heroes serve as positive role models for our students.

Read Across Alexandria SigningThe launch of Community Heroes Read Across Alexandria took place on Tuesday November 15, 2016 at Cora Kelly School of Science, Math and Technology and Jefferson Houston School. During this time, formal partnership agreements were signed between the departments and firefighters and sheriff deputies read to classrooms of ACPS students.

As firefighter Daryoush Hematti read Dear Primo, a book about one cousin in America and one in Mexico, to a classroom of kindergartners at Cora Kelly, students excitedly questioned, “You speak Spanish too?!” It was so exciting for them to experience a hero that looked and sounded like them. The fact that these community heroes had taken time to read to the students made them feel valued and demonstrated that reading truly is a superpower.

rick-muse-and-kidsThe Community Heroes Read Across Alexandria initiative was the brainchild of Firefighter Rick Muse, Jr. who  received positive feedback after the Black Fire Service Professionals of Alexandria volunteered at the March 2 Read Across America event in ACPS elementary schools last school year. Muse solicited the Alexandria Fire Department and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office to join together to show community support for the City’s schools.

ACPS elementary principals and teachers can now request that community heroes visit their classrooms at times that support and celebrate student literacy learning. For more information, contact Suzanne Lank. ACPS Reading Specialist K-5 at 703-619-8330 or

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ACPS, Cora Kelly, Jefferson-Houston