Local Judge Brings Learning to Life with “Abe Lincoln’s Hat” Reading Initiative for Youth

ADDISON, Ill. – In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy, Judge Chantelle Porter of the 18th Judicial Circuit of DuPage County in Addison will be participating in the “Judges Go to School Day” program. As part of this initiative, Judge Porter will visit local schools and libraries to read the popular children’s book, “Abe Lincoln’s Hat,” by Martha Brenner. This reading program, organized by the Illinois Judges Association, aims to promote reading appreciation, value, and enjoyment among students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

During her visits, Judge Porter will don the traditional black robes and engage with students in classroom appearances. She will read “Abe Lincoln’s Hat” and lead discussions on how the story intersects with history and the law. The book will also be donated to the school library, allowing students to continue exploring Lincoln’s adventures.

The Illinois Judges Association is motivated by the concern that many school children are not reading at their grade level, which can impact their overall learning experience and contribute to the high school dropout rate. By engaging directly with students through reading initiatives, the association hopes to inspire young minds to appreciate the value of books, learn about history, and gain insights into the justice system.

According to surveys conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, fourth-graders from low-income families often struggle to read at their grade level. Research has shown that students who are proficient readers by the end of third grade have a higher likelihood of graduating from high school and achieving financial independence in adulthood.

The book, “Abe Lincoln’s Hat,” offers a glimpse into the life of the 16th President of the United States. Through captivating illustrations, it portrays Lincoln as an absent-minded frontier lawyer who used his tall, black hat to store important documents, such as letters, court notes, and contracts. This unique perspective on Lincoln’s life adds depth to the book and encourages children to explore history in an engaging manner.

This reading program is just one of several community initiatives undertaken by the Illinois Judges Association. Their Page It Forward reading and tutoring program, “Courtroom in the Classroom” presentation, “7 Reasons to Leave the Party” program, and others aim to educate and empower students on various legal and social issues.

More information about these programs can be found on the Illinois Judges Association’s website. The association is a membership organization comprising 1,250 active and retired judges, dedicated to promoting public confidence in the judiciary, providing services and education to its members, and offering information about court operations to the public. Funding for the books used in the reading program was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Judges Foundation.

Through their dedication to fostering reading appreciation and providing educational resources, the Illinois Judges Association is making a valuable contribution to the communities they serve. By instilling a love for reading and knowledge in young minds, they are shaping the next generation of engaged citizens.