Octavia Spencer reads to pupils at Crescent Heights Elementary school in Support of SAG Awards and SAG Foundations BookPALS program on Oct. 26, 2011 in Los Angeles

*Actress Octavia Spencer, a Screen Actors Guild literacy ambassador, was given a warm welcome recently at a Los Angeles elementary school where she read to some of her younger fans.

The Crescent Heights Language Arts/Social Justice Magnet School literally rolled out a red carpet (a.k.a. red butcher paper) for the star of “The Help” as the latest ambassador of BookPals, the SAG Foundation’s 18-year-old literacy program.

“You’re so cute! OK, who saw my movie?” she asks the crowd of 360 or so kids as a sea of hands are raised. “Great. Can you all promise me one thing? Never, ever do what Minnie did with that pie!” The students shout “Yes!” in unison, and Spencer dives into reading The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth.

Spencer, a native of Montgomery, Ala., says her BookPals reading was more than she imagined. “I was a huge reader growing up — it’s why I went into this field,” she says. “I was so moved by the kids’ enthusiasm. I wish this experience for all my peers.”