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Robyn Lea shifted from interviews to reading children’s books online during COVID-19 crisis



Robyn Lea reads children's books on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page during the COVID-19 crisis. (Photo from video screen grab).

Vicksburg and Warren County residents are still adjusting to the shelter-in-place order that was enacted on April 3. One of the many individuals in the community who are reaching out to serve others during this time, including children and health-care workers, is Robyn Lea.

Lea, a local insurance agent, is the creator of “Coffee With,” an interview program that was broadcast weekly on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page.

Lea usually interviews Vicksburg natives about creative deeds or community service that directly affects people’s lives. However, she has interviewed people outside of the community. Lea is aware that she can use platforms like Zoom, a video call service, to continue her interviews, but she prefers to sit down with her subjects.

“I like the factor of being face to face with them,” Lea said.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Lea has been unable to continue with her normal programming. Instead, she decided to read children’s books every day instead of doing an interview.

She has read many Dr. Seuss books, “The Swiss Family Robinson,” and most recently, “The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.”

“If the parents have to work or take a break, the parents will know that the kids will be appropriately entertained,” she said.

Lea has read to students in Vicksburg’s elementary schools for many years. For the past five years, she has partnered with the schools for Dr. Suess’ Birthday.

“I think there are three things in life that can make you a successful person, and one of those three things is to be a good, strong reader,” Lea said.

Lea is having success online with reading pre-K through second-grade books. However, she is recently receiving more views on chapter books.

After the pandemic, she is not clear that she will be able to continue reading stories online.

“I don’t know with my full-time job and ‘Coffee With’ that I will be to do all of that,” Lea said. “If I do decide to continue reading, I will probably have to choose one or the other.”

During this strange time, Lea is also active in serving the community in other ways. Recently, she provided lunch and made masks for Mission Primary Care Clinic’s doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses.

“I want children here to know that they can go and be adventurous, and there are other places in the world that are fascinating and fun and within reach,” Lea said.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News