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Student wants to raise awareness about reading, disorder

The children presented Wragg with a paper butterfly they made for her after she read to them. From left, the children are Finnian Larson, Ryleigh Sims, Teron Whylie, Ansleigh Mitchell and Prestasia Lewis.

The children presented Wragg with a paper butterfly they made for her after she read to them. From left, the children are Finnian Larson, Ryleigh Sims, Teron Whylie, Ansleigh Mitchell and Prestasia Lewis.

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Fifteen-year-old student Kimby Wragg reads to students at the Covington YMCA on Friday. She wants to encourage fellow students to read and be nicer to other students and also raise awareness about the immune system disorder, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Staff Photos: Lee Depkin

COVINGTON — One Newton County student hopes to raise awareness about reading in young children, as well as a potentially serious health disorder.

Kimby Wragg, a 15-year-old freshman from Newton High School in the Academy of Liberal Arts program, recently donated copies of a book to students at the Covington YMCA.

She also spent part of an afternoon reading to them the special book “Do You Know Why Butterflies Fly?” by Tom McWhirter.

When Wragg was holding a car wash fundraiser over the summer, a man donated the books to her so she could continue her fundraising efforts. She has been raising money for the Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation, since it’s an immune system disorder that affected her step-cousin.

“To me, the books represent Guillain-Barre Syndrome, talking about freedom,” said Wragg, daughter of Tammy and Steve Hammonds of Covington. “I want the butterfly to represent (GBS). Butterflies are like my guardian angel.”

She also hopes the books will inspire other students — students like herself who can volunteer to read to younger students, as well as younger students she reads to in order to get them more interested in reading.

“I want to show other teens about leadership,” she said. “I want teenagers to stop bullying and be kind to others and show their confidence. I want to show the true meaning behind courage. I feel like this is what I should be doing as my role in life.”

On Friday, Wragg began her efforts by reading to a group of kindergartners through second-graders at the YMCA after-school program. Wragg, who dressed up in a butterfly gown and crown, read to them, gave them books, signed them and gave them butterfly chalkboards to take home.

“It’s a real princess,” one of the students said as Wragg walked in the room.

Wragg plans to read to more students in the community and donate more books throughout the year.

She also hopes to organize a walk in the Atlanta area for GBS later this year.