HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Tuesday was anything but a normal school day for students and staff at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Huntsville. They were visited by Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey!

Governor Ivey greeted students as she walked into the library. She handed out copies of “Alabama My Home Sweet Home“, and read a few pages to third and fourth graders.

The Governor spoke to students about the importance of doing well in school and being a good reader.

Gov. Ivey handing students copies of “Alabama My Home Sweet Home” during her visit to MLK Elementary School.

Her visit is due to the Turnaround Schools Initiative, which was formed in the fall of 2022.

Fifteen “low-performing” schools in the state were selected to receive funding and resources to improve. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School was the only school from north Alabama to be part of the initiative.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ve tried to tailor-make resources fitted to every school’s needs,” Governor Ivey said. “This school is making progress too.”

MLK Elementary had previously been part of the Failing Schools list. In recent school years, the school has made a lot of improvements.

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent, Clarence Sutton, said he’s proud of the school’s progress.

“They went from a school with a low test score, to a C, within a 2-year span, and we expect the same growth with our October report cards,” Superintendent Sutton said. “It’s more than test scores but we’re excited about the test scores.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Huntsville, Alabama.

Governor Ivey said one of the focuses of the initiative is to improve reading abilities.

“I hope they picked up the idea that they need to learn to read, and read well and study hard, and work hard,” the Governor said.

In addition to reading with students in the library, the Governor visited a few classrooms. Ivey, who worked as a school teacher in the 1960s, said it was good to be back.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve sat in a classroom and talked to students but they were very attentive,” she said. “It’s always good to be in a school on a school day!”

The Governor’s visit to MLK Jr. Elementary was her second visit to a Turnaround School this week. On Monday, she visited J.F. Shields High School in Monroe County.

Later in the week, she plans to visit Barbour County Intermediate Elementary School in Louisville.