Students find cozy spot to read

From left, Avery Jennings, Stephen Priest and Brady Hayes read in a tent constructed of blankets as part of the Mill Creek Elementary School Read-A-thon on Friday. As part of the festivities, students were allowed to wear comfortable clothing and bring stuffed animals and blankets from home.

Students participate in Read-A-Thon

In her son Todd Daily's first grade class at Mill Creek Elementary School, Tania Daily answers questions after reading a story, as part of the Mill Creek Read-A-Thon. The Read-A-Thon has replaced previous school fundraisers.

Rednecks for Obama

Carol Birdsong, left, Tony Viessman, center, and Staci McNally of "Rednecks for Obama" stand in speaker's circle and hand out bumper stickers on Thursday at MU. The group from Rolla travels to rallies for Barack Obama around the U.S.

Scott Cairns

Scott Cairns, a poet and MU professor of English, is writing “Young Monks,” profiling a group of spiritual people who have helped him find peace.

Poet, professor, and pilgrim

After completing eight trips to Mount Athos, a Greek peninsula and pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians, Scott Cairns has gradually learned to assimilate the monk's use of self-denial — a skill monks use to enhance their spiritual lives — into his own life.

No to Obama

Lauren Stewart, left, confronts anti-Obama protesters at Speakers Circle.

Obama roots for Kansas

Lauren Stewart, right, argues with anti-Obama protesters at Speakers Circle at MU before Obama's speech on Thursday night.

No to Obama

Brett Dinkins shouts during a protest at Speakers Circle before a rally for Sen. Barack Obama at Mel Carnahan Quadrangle at MU.

Hold me higher

Father and son Anthony and Brenden James wait among the crowd for the Barack Obama rally on Thursday.

A family outing

From left, Makenna Martin, Kim Martin, Delaney Martin and Annie Smith wait for the rally for Barack Obama to begin on Thursday at Carnahan Quadrangle at MU. Kim Martin is the mother of Makenna and Delaney, and the girls grandparents were visiting from Canada.

Obama waves to crowd before MU speech

Senator Barack Obama waves to a cheering crowd on MU's Carnahan Quadrangle as he prepares to address them.

Obama greets supporters as he enters Carnahan Quadrangle

Obama greets supporters as he enters Carnahan Quadrangle at MU. He urged voters to help him in his campaign during the final days of the race.

Barb Maddex snaps a photo at the Obama rally

Columbia resident Barb Maddex snaps a photo at the "Change We Need" rally on Thursday.

Obama addressed health care at the MU rally

Obama addressed health care issues during a rally at MU and told the crowd that he envisioned better access to health insurance for everyone, including young people.

The crowd at the Obama rally at MU

Obama onstage in front of MU's Jesse Hall.

Obama at the MU rally on Thursday night

Obama speaks at MU.

Jay Nixon introduces Obama at the MU rally

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon greets a crowd of 40,000 as he steps on stage to speak at the "Change We Need" rally at MU. Nixon introduced Obama.

Obama pauses during Thursday's rally at MU

Obama pauses during the rally at Carnahan Quadrangle.

Obama at Thursday's MU rally

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at a rally at Carnahan Quadrangle at MU in Columbia, Mo. The crowd started filling up the area at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Rock Bridge football player Tedder Easton

Senior Tedder Easton will play his final football game for Rock Bridge tonight.