Dr. Nathan Defrees, a stethoscope looped around his neck, chuckles at the antics of Gerald and Piggie.

His audience of kindergartners giggles too, then quiets as he continues the story of “My Friend is Sad” by Mo Willems.

Defrees and other health care workers in the community were invited to be guest readers at the annual StORytime event with local kindergarten classes on Thursday, Sept. 30. It is sponsored by the Early Learning Hub.

Students from Baker Early Learning Center and Pine Eagle School lounged in the grassy field near the Baker Early Learning Center (in the North Baker School building) to hear several stories — “The Kissing Hand,” followed by three Mo Willems books featuring Elephant and Piggie.

Visiting readers included Defrees, Dr. Lily Wittich, Sarah Lindsey, Jasmine McCauley, and Valerie Potter — all from St. Luke’s EOMA — and Nancy Staten, director of the Baker County Health Department.

“Who are our heroes? Doctors and nurses,” said Angela Lattin, BELC principal.

After storytime, the students each received a T-shirt emblazoned with “Class of 2034,” an Elephant and Piggie book of their choice, a toothbrush and an orange.

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