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Apple Queen visits elementary school subjects

With those long golden locks and a silver crown perched atop her head, it’s no wonder elementary school students are in awe of the Apple Queen.
“I liked her story that she read to us, and I liked her crown, and I liked what she talked about to us, and I liked her picture that she gave us,” said Keenen Cothran, a second-grade student at Love Memorial Elementary School.
His fellow students agree — especially about the crown.
“It was pretty and sparkly,” said Daisy Engle, another student.
The Apple Queen, Caroline Farris, descended upon the school to encourage students to read. If (according to their Reading Counts points) they’re one of the top three readers in the school, they’ll be able to have lunch with the Apple Queen.
Farris, a North Lincoln High School student, will visit all 11 elementary schools before the May lunch.
“I love it,” she said. “I love the kids and their questions.”
The most popular questions have to do with apples – “How do you make apples?” and “Why didn’t you bring any apples?”
She has also been asked why there is no Apple King (second-grader Blake McCurry offered to take that role), where her limousine was and if they’re allowed to touch her crown. One little boy even proposed marriage.
And while the boys might be hearing wedding the bells, the girls covet the Apple Queen title.
“I would like to have a crown like that,” said Stephanie Salas, a second-grade student.
According to Judy Buff, a teacher at Love Memorial Elementary School, all this admiration is a good thing.
“A lot of children attend the Apple Festival, and I think her coming to read to the children is great,” Buff said. “It makes it more interesting.”
It’s not Farris’ toothy grin and blond hair that make the Apple Queen an appropriate role model for children. Organizers hope that children walk away thinking “Well the Apple Queen, she’s not just pretty, she reads.”
“They look up to her, and they remember that,” Buff said.
Farris hopes her short sessions of reading books like “Where the Wild Things Are” make an impact on students.
“I think it’s really important for them to enjoy reading,” she said. “It’s a life long thing. Not being able to read and enjoy it — you won’t learn anything.”
This will be the second year Lincoln County children will be rewarded for reading with an Apple Queen-hosted lunch.
Besides encouraging literacy, Farris has made good healthcare a platform for her reign as Apple Queen.
by Sarah Grano

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