MEA member Mallory Rivard emerged the winner in a preliminary round of this year’s Miss America pageant, earning a $1,500 scholarship award for her top score in the overall interview round.
A first-grade teacher in Bay City, Rivard was crowned Miss Michigan in June. She is the first winner in Miss Michigan pageant history to maintain a full-time job during the busy one-year title reign. Her social impact initiative is a literacy effort known as “Read to Succeed.”
“After two years of teaching first grade here at MacGregor Elementary, I saw the need,” she said in an interview with MEA Voice magazine. “Parents don’t necessarily know how to best help their children learn to read at home, so I started digging into different organizations to see what else I could do.”
Her research brought Rivard to the READ Association of Saginaw County, where she helped develop and lead several sessions of the Raising Readers Academy, a free 12-week program to help parents learn tools and strategies for building their children into strong, joyful readers.
In Bay County, she joined “Milk and Bookies” events featuring Rivard in her crown and sash doing a read-aloud that concluded with milk and cookies plus a free Scholastic book for every child in attendance, thanks to community sponsors.
Watch Rivard compete in the 99th Miss America pageant airing live on NBC Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST.