Military personnel, first responders, school trustees media personalities athletes and cheerleaders were among the celebrities serving as guest readers at the annual “Reading Rodeo” at Bowie Elementary School on Oct. 18.

For the 15th consecutive year, community celebrity readers shared their favorite children’s books and stories with Bowie students in the event sponsored by the Abilene chapter of Altursa International. Among the celebrity readers were police officers, paramedics, Dyess Air Force Base service members, local TV and media personalities, business representatives, AISD administrators and school board trustees. In addition, several athletes and spirit leaders from Cooper High School served as readers, and the Chick-fil-A Cow mascot made a guest appearance.

Many students and teachers also dressed in costumes as their favorite storybook characters for the special day, which culminated with an outdoors parade of characters in front of the campus.

Altrusa is an international women’s service organization dedicated to promoting literacy and serving communities. As a “Make a Difference Day” project 15 years ago, the local chapter began “Reading Rodeo” at Bowie. Now, members also donate books and flash cards each year to every Bowie student, and four years ago, they expanded their effort by providing children’s dictionaries to every 3rd grader enrolled in AISD.