Mayor's Book Club

June 2014, McCracken County Humane Society

Stubby the War Dog book coverThe media is invited to attend the Mayor’s Book Club event on Friday, June 20, 2014 at noon in conjunction with the graduation ceremony of the McCracken County Humane Society’s Pals and Paws Day Camp.

Pal and Paws is a day camp held June 16-20 for students ages 12-15.  Kyle Johnson organized the camp as his Eagle Scout service project.  During the camp, the students are paired with a dog to learn about proper care, grooming, and clicker training techniques.  The campers also participate in arts and crafts and decorate a kennel. 

On June 20, the media is invited to attend the graduation ceremony for the ten campers.  During the ceremony, Mayor Gayle Kaler will promote her love of animals and books by reading a portion of the book Stubby the War Dog.

Mayor Kaler says, “These campers are passionate about learning about dogs.  I’m hoping to bring my love for animals and my enthusiasm for reading together by introducing the students to a book about a famous terrier, Stubby.  This tough dog was promoted to sergeant in World War I and participated in battle.  He is a member of the collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.” 

McCracken County Humane Society Executive Director Terry Vannerson says, “The camp’s purpose is for the students to strengthen their human to canine relationships. I’m thrilled to have Mayor Kaler participate in the graduation for the first ever Pals and Paws Day Camp and promote how our relationships with animals have been integral parts of history.” 

This is the fifth event for the Mayor’s Book Club.  In 2013, Mayor Kaler held book reading events at City Hall, the Challenger Learning Center, and the Paducah Railroad Museum.  Earlier this year, a book reading event was held at Fire Station #1 in downtown Paducah. 

For more information visit the McCracken County Humane Society located at 4000 Coleman Road.

May 2014, Paducah Fire Station #1 Book Club

Clifford and Firefighters

FClifford and Mayor Kaleror more than 50 years, kids of all ages have loved the stories of Clifford. The stories are about the big red dog and Emily Elizabeth, the littlegirl who loves him. Mayor Gayle Kaler has chosen to read Clifford the Firehouse Dog to kids at her next Mayor’s Book Club event.

Everyone is invited to Fire Station #1 at 300 Washington Street in downtown Paducah on Friday, May 2, 2014 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to hear Mayor Kaler read the story. She’ll read every half hour from 4:30 until 6 p.m. Kids also will get to tour the fire station, sit in a pumper truck, talk to fire fighters, and learn about fire safety. There is no charge to participate in the event.

Mayor Kaler says, “In Clifford the Firehouse Dog, Clifford visits his brother, Nero, at the local fire station. It’s a great story that includes adventure, teamwork, and fire safety tips.”

This is the fourth event for the Mayor’s Book Club. In 2013, Mayor Kaler held book reading events at City Hall, the Challenger Learning Center, and the Paducah Railroad Museum.


November 2013, Paducah Railroad Museum Book Club

Owney the Mail Pouch PoochIn an effort to instill a love of reading and a love of the community, Mayor Gayle Kaler is partnering with the Paducah Railroad Museum for the Mayor’s Book Club. Mayor Kaler says, “When I learned that the Paducah Railroad Museum hosts Story Time for young children, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the activity. The book featured for this Story Time is about a dog’s adventure on mail trains. What a great way to encourage reading while learning about trains and a dog’s life.”

On November 9, 2013 the Paducah Railroad Museum will have Story Time featuring the reading of the book Owney, the Mail Pouch Pooch, a story about a dog who rode trains with the mail all over the country. The book is written by Mona Kerby. Story Time is held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. with each presentation including a craft and other activities. Mayor Kaler will be at the museum to read to the children during the afternoon times.

Since the featured book for Story Time is about a dog, Mayor Kaler has invited the McCracken County Animal Shelter and the McCracken County Humane Society to hold an adoption fair in the museum parking lot, weather-permitting.

Paducah Railroad Museum Director Logan Blewett says, “The museum really enjoys providing Story Time for the community. When we can team up with the Mayor, it’s a win-win since more families may hear about the event which means the community benefits in addition to the museum. These types of programs help the Paducah Railroad Museum expand its outreach.”

Admission to the museum, which includes the Story Time activities, is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children 12 and under. The handicapped-accessible museum is located at 200 Washington Street in Paducah, across from the Carson Center. For more information about the Paducah Railroad Museum, call (270) 908-6451 or visit the website at

This is the third event for the Mayor’s Book Club. In April, Mayor Kaler held an event at City Hall in which elementary students read the book P is for Paducah with the promise to take it back to their class and read it with their classmates. Mayor Kaler held another Mayor’s Book Club event on October 28 at the Challenger Learning Center at West Kentucky Community & Technical College.

October 2013, Challenger Learning Center Book Club

Book Club at Challenger Learning CenterMayor Gayle Kaler in a partnership with the Challenger Learning Center at West Kentucky Community & Technical College is holding a Mayor’s Book Club event for kids who love outer space and who love reading.

Challenger Learning Center Director Mellisa Duncan says, “I had been considering starting a book club when I approached Mayor Kaler about a partnership. This is a perfect chance to introduce the students to a series of books co-written by Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, one of the founding members of the Challenger Center and the widow of the commander of the space shuttle Challenger.”

Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “Paducah is so fortunate to have the Challenger Learning Center so that children across the region can learn about science, space, and teamwork. Starting a book club at the Center is a wonderful opportunity to encourage reading and foster a love of science and exploration.”

Duncan worked with schools to invite students in 4th through 6th grades across Paducah and McCracken County who love to read and are interested in space exploration or have taken part in a camp or class at the Challenger Learning Center. The event will be held Monday, October 28, 2013 6:30-7:30 at the Challenger Learning Center. The students will be introduced to the book, Moonbase Crisis, co-written by Dr. Rodgers. Mayor Kaler will read an excerpt of the book and lead a discussion about the importance of science, math, engineering, and technology in addition to the importance of reading. Each student will receive a copy of the book.

The students also will get to view the night sky using a telescope, tour the Challenger Learning Center, and enjoy a space-age treat from Dippin’ Dots. In the spring of 2014, the students and Mayor Kaler will meet at the Challenger Learning Center for a follow-up discussion about the book. There are a few spaces left for the book club event. For information about event registration, the book, or the Challenger Learning Center, contact Duncan at 534-3097.

This is the second event for the Mayor’s Book Club. In April, Mayor Kaler held an event at City Hall in which elementary students read the book P is for Paducah with the promise to take it back to their class and read it with their classmates. Mayor Kaler will hold another Mayor’s Book Club event on November 9 at the Paducah Railroad Museum on Washington Street.

April 2013, P is for Paducah Book Club at City Hall

Reading P is for Paducah book“I was thrilled when I first heard about the book, P is for Paducah,” says Mayor Gayle Kaler.  The book, created by the Paducah Symphony Orchestra in 2012, is a 

Mayor Kaler and students

children’s alphabet book that teaches children about Paducah and features beautiful, colorful artwork.  Mayor Kaler  used the book as a kickoff to the Mayor’s Book Club.  “My goal is to generate an enthusiasm for reading in this community.  I especially want parents to take the time to read to and with their children.”

For the inaugural event, Mayor Kaler asked elementary schools within the Paducah city limits to select five students, one from each grade first through fifth, to come to City Hall at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.  The participating schools were Clark Elementary, Community Christian Academy, McNabb Elementary, Morgan Elementary, and St. Mary Elementary.  At the event, each student was presented with their own copy of P is for Paducah.  The students and Mayor Kaler also read the book together.

Mayor Kaler says, “I want these students to be my reading cheerleaders.  My hope is that they return to their schools and read the book to their classmates.”  Kaler adds, “This book is a perfect tool to spark discussions about Paducah, its history, landmarks, and people.”

Mayor Kaler plans to work with the McCracken County Public Library for future Mayor’s Book Club events.

To purchase a copy of P is for Paducah, visit Paducah Symphony.