Around 5:30 p.m. last Thursday, employees at the Knightdale Wells Fargo underwent a transformation.
They didn’t change from their business wear to more casual wear, but to completely new people or in some cases, different species altogether.
The Wells Fargo staff dressed up as their favorite children’s book characters – which included a Rainbow fish and the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland” – as a way to kick off National Literacy Month at the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business After Hours event.
A different business hosts the event each month and it is a social event for chamber members. Wells Fargo offered to host and saw the event as a good place to begin the branch’s efforts to collect books for donation, said Wells Fargo associate Debbie Irgens. Irgens also serves as a chamber ambassador.
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It also made the event different and fun for the hosts.
“I think it’s fun (and) it makes it different,” Irgens said. “Everybody can relate to a childhood book and hopefully (we can) get books so we can donate them to the local schools.”
Chamber members and guests were encouraged to bring books for donations but Irgens said the bank will have a place to donate books set up through the month of April.
The idea for making literacy the focus of this month’s Business After Hours event came from Wells Fargo’s corporate office, which asks branches to read one book to one school in its area and include a quick financial lesson about needs and wants.
A representative from Knightdale’s Wells Fargo will be reading to students at Lake Myra Elementary School later this month as the book drive in the bank continues.
Irgens said the drive was just a way to bring more attention to Literacy Month and not neccesarily tied to the recent concerns and discussions about Knightdale schools.
“We know schools are a topic for Knightdale (but) it wasn’t the primary reason,” she said. “But it involves a connection that highlights everyone can go to a school and read so hopefully it will be contagious.”