ST. CLOUD -- Students at STRIDE Academy were greeted with a smile and a story in class Monday afternoon.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis read to the 2nd and 3rd grade students as part of February's "I Love to Read Month."

Kleis says reading can open up a whole new world for kids and get them thinking in different ways.

"I love the aspect of not only reading to the kids but hearing the questions that come after and watching the expressions on their face."

The book read to the students was "If I Were President" written by Catherine Stier. Kleis says he hopes this inspires more kids to read and to get their friends reading.

"It's great to see them so attentive on the story. Hopefully they will take this and continue reading and pass it on to others their age."

"I Love To Read Month" is a district wide event where schools choose a book and base some activities related to the story in the classroom.

STRIDE Academy received approval from its new authorizer Pillsbury United Communities for a five-year contract back in January after announcing they would closing.

An open house will be held Tuesday from 3:30-6:00 p.m. for all grade levels.