Of the more than 1,500 people marching down Sumter Street to the State House in Columbia on Thursday, about ninety of them were from Anderson School District One. The marchers were taking part in the 2012 South Carolina Read-In, sponsored by the legislative action committee of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians. Students from Palmetto Middle, Powdersville Middle, Wren Middle, Hunt Meadows Elementary, Spearman Elementary, and West Pelzer Elementary were selected by their school librarians to take a field trip to participate in the Read-In. The purpose of the annual Read-In is to draw attention to the impact libraries and reading have on students. As they marched behind the Benedict College Drumline, the students waved signs that read, “Kids Who Read Succeed.” After the march from the State Library to the State House, students and their librarians and teachers sat on the steps and listened to celebrity readers who reminded them of the importance of reading and the access to books and materials provided by their libraries. Among those appearing and talking about their favorite books were Cocky and the Tiger, mascots from USC and Clemson universities, Miss South Carolina, Marvel Comics illustrator Sanford Greene, conductor of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra Morihiko Nakahara, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.
After the speeches, students settled on the State House grounds to spend some time reading. The students from Anderson District One were joined by S.C. House member, Josh Putnam, who told students that although he hated reading as a child due to dyslexia, “You need to grow in your knowledge and the best way to do that is by reading.” He urged them to continue to read and learn so that, “Maybe one day, you can take my job and replace me and work up here in the State House, working for your district and trying to make a difference.”
Photos: 370030C91_35.jpg Students from Anderson District One with Josh Putnam (photo courtesy of Michael Cavalear)
184.jpg Elementary students from Hunt Meadows, Spearman and West Pelzer Elementary Schools
149.jpg Students from Powdersville Middle School
164.jpg Sarah Stafford, Powdersville Middle School student, enjoying a beautiful day and a favorite book
152.jpg Students from Wren and Palmetto Middle School