Miss West Virginia on a mission

·3 min read

Oct. 25—POINT PLEASANT — Some preschoolers had a special treat Monday morning with a visit from Miss West Virginia who came to read to the classes.

Miss West Virginia, Alexis Bland, who will be competing in the upcoming Miss USA pageant in November, said she is on a mission to read to as many schools as she can.

"I'm trying to go to at least one a week up until Miss USA," Bland said. "I'll have more time to maybe go to several a week after Miss USA."

Bland visited Early Education Station to read to the four preschool classes.

Her visit is a result of assistant teacher, Conner Grady who said she follows Bland on all social media platforms and saw Bland wanted to read to classes on the queen's Instagram story.

"I thought I don't think we've ever had Miss West Virginia here," Grady said.

Grady said she took a chance and messaged Bland and invited her to the preschool and it went from there.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Bland read two books to each of the four preschool classes individually and then answered some of the questions students had, which started as soon as she walked in when one student said, "I thought you flew." This led to a conversation with the class about locations around West Virginia.

Students asked questions from, "how did you get so big [tall]" to "do you live in a castle" and "do you have magic powers?" Conversations of why Bland chose to run for Miss West Virginia and where she lives were also initiated by the preschoolers.

One preschooler asked to touch her crown, in which Bland allowed all of the children to touch and see her crown up close.

Bland said her decision to read to various classrooms across the state was to help make an impact.

"Something that I see as a title holder is that there's so many kids who don't have guidance," Bland said. "And as a title holder, you never know what one thing that you might say or that you might do that's going to resonate with those kids for the rest of their lives."

Making a last impact on students is something Bland said she has already witnessed.

"Last week, I went to a school in Wirt County and I brought a little card for the students and a little boy told me he was going to keep it for the rest of his life," Bland said. "Things like that, you know, they really warm your heart and they show that what you're doing as a title holder is making a difference."

Bland said she has currently read to five schools in the state with two more the afternoon of reading to Early Education Station preschoolers.

© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Brittany Hivley is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively. Reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext 2555.

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