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'Mystery' reader at St. Louis: Schools superintendent

PINECREST | Kindergarteners at St. Louis Covenant School heard from a very important person May 23, 2022: Jim Rigg, archdiocesan superintendent of schools, came to visit as part of their “Mystery Reader” program.

Mystery Reader is part of the school’s kindergarten curriculum, in which guests come into the classrooms and read to the students. Typically, the students are unaware of who’s coming, hence the “mystery.”

Rigg read from the story “Mortimer’s First Garden” by Karma Wilson, an inspirational tale that celebrates the miracle of springtime, being patient, and God.

In a way, the superintendent’s invitation came with a challenge. When he accepted, he mentioned that he has read most of the titles shared with the little ones.

But Christina Rivera-Izquierdo, the school’s curriculum and instruction director, thought otherwise. And she was right. He had not read that book before.

To summarize the story:

Little Mortimer Mouse munches on sunflower seeds and longs to see something green after a long winter. Upon overhearing the story of how springtime rain and sunshine nurture little seeds to grow into great big green plants, Mortimer is skeptical but decides to plant one of his seeds, just to see if such a miracle really can happen. Mortimer finds a perfect sport to plant the seed, and then … he waits. And waits. And waits.

“Maybe some miracles take time,” he says.

Impatient, Mortimer thinks nothing is ever going to happen to the little seed. But then something does happen. Something wonderful. Something divine. Something green!

Jim Rigg, archdiocesan Schools superintendent, poses with St. Louis Covenant School's kindergarten students and the book he read to them, "Mortimer's First Garden." Rigg was the "mystery reader" for both kindergarten classes at the Pinecrest school, May 23, 2022.

Photographer: COURTESY

Jim Rigg, archdiocesan Schools superintendent, poses with St. Louis Covenant School's kindergarten students and the book he read to them, "Mortimer's First Garden." Rigg was the "mystery reader" for both kindergarten classes at the Pinecrest school, May 23, 2022.