Gov. Brian Sandoval wins accolades from youngsters |

Gov. Brian Sandoval wins accolades from youngsters

Teri Vance
Jim Grant/Nevada AppealGovernor Brian Sandoval reads to students at Empire Elementary school on Monday morning.

Teachers applauded and children laughed as Gov. Brian Sandoval navigated his way through the Dr. Seussian tongue twisters in “Fox in Socks” during story time Monday at Empire Elementary School.

“My next speech will be very easy after this,” he joked.

When he finished the book without tripping over any of the rhymes or alliterations – “Who sees who sew whose new socks, sir? You see Sue sew Sue’s new socks, sir.” – second-grader Sarai Jauregui, 7, gave him a high-five.

“He read so good,” she said. “That was a dangerous book.”

Sandoval said he gets plenty of practice reading to his first-grade daughter every night. His goal is to see every child reading by the third grade.

“I think reading is extremely important,” he said.

During March reading month Sandoval has been a guest reader at several schools.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s a blast. It really is the best part of my day.”

Last week, he read to third-graders at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School.

Team teachers Staci Bayliss and Kathy Roide had taken their students to Sandoval’s inauguration in January.

“They recognized him,” Bayliss said, “and they have a basic understanding of the impact he has on their families by the decisions he makes. So they were really excited.”

Roide said he never checked his watch, giving all of his attention to the students while he was there.

“I was so impressed with how calm and comfortable he was,” she said. “He was really just engaged with the kids.”

When he was finished reading Monday, he fielded questions from the students.

Some were easy, like, “Have you ever been on ‘Ellen?'” or “Have you ever done a back flip off of a motorcycle?”

Both answers were “no.”

Others required more depth. One student asked why he wanted to be governor.

“My entire life, even when I was your age,” he explained, “I wanted to help other people. This was a great opportunity to serve all of you in the state of Nevada.”