PORTAGE | Jabria Saleh wants to be an attorney when she grows up. She knows to accomplish that goal, she's going to have to read a lot.
But, said the Crisman Elementary School fifth-grader, her motivation had waned.
A program for fifth-graders, Read to Succeed, said Saleh, has sparked her interest again.
"I really like it because we get to learn a lot about people's jobs," she said.
Each Friday at the school, someone from the community is invited into the school to read to the students, share how they need reading for their job and answer questions.
"As a child, growing up, I wasn't motivated to read," said teacher Gretchen Schulz. "I want kids to understand the importance of reading."
This week Portage Fire Chief Tom Fieffer shared a book from his childhood, "Days with Frog and Toad," with the students. He also told them why reading is important to a firefighter.
"If we couldn't read, we couldn't get to your house," he told the youngsters after explaining that when a call comes in, a firefighter has to look at a map and be able to read street addresses to respond.
Fieffer read the book from his iPad, telling students he still loves to read and carries 14 books with him on the device.
Schulz said they've had everyone from the school superintendent, a nurse, former NBA player, bakery owner and police chief read to the students.
"I think it is really a good program," said student Marissa Powell. "I see a lot of grown ups and how they use reading in their jobs."
Tiara Newbert agreed. Not only does she enjoy listening to them read to her and her classmates, she said it also made her realize, "almost everybody has to read."