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‘Read Across America’ volunteers sought

Posted: February 19, 2015 4:48 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2015 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews reads to Kershaw County students during the 2014 Read Across America event. The Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Kershaw County School District are looking for volunteers for this year’s event to take place Feb. 27.

Reading to children can make a difference in their lives and hopefully instill a love for reading in them at a young age. The Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Kershaw County School District (KCSD) are partnering Feb. 27 for the annual “Read Across America” event. The chamber and district are seeking volunteers to visit Kershaw County’s 11 elementary schools that morning to read Dr. Seuss books to students.

The event is normally held on Seuss’ birthday, March 2. However, that is a Monday this year, so school officials chose Feb. 27 instead, as Monday is considered the busiest school day of the week. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel, was born March 2, 1904, and died in 1991. He published 46 children’s books, many of which have been adapted as television specials and feature films.

Chamber Executive Director Liz Horton said up to 211 volunteer readers are needed, but fewer could fulfill the project if some are willing to read to more than one class.

“Adults go to the schools in observance of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, trying to make our youths lifelong readers and lovers of reading,” Horton said. “We definitely need more people who can volunteer 30 minutes of their time. The schools provide the books, unless someone has their favorite Dr. Seuss book they want to bring.”

She said Target Distribution Center is one of the “really big partners” in the program.

“They usually bring a lot of volunteers. We’ve had other community leaders, like the sheriff, and I’m going to contact the county council to see if some of them will volunteer to read,” she said. “Our hope is to make them lifelong learners and lovers of reading. They say that children from kindergarten through 3rd grade are learning to read, then they are reading to learn, so you want to introduce books to children as young as you possibly can. I think they love having the adults come to their classrooms. It’s a lot of fun for the children and the teachers really get into it. It really is a great experience.”

KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said Read Across America Day is highly anticipated each year.

“I invite people to come do this because it’s fun. I especially invite people who haven’t been inside a public school for a while,” Morgan said. “I think they may be surprised as far as the focus and the way the kids handle themselves. It’s so much fun. It’s my favorite day of the year.”

Volunteers may request which school they would like to visit. They are being asked to arrive at their designated school at 8:15 a.m. that day. The event starts at 8:30 a.m.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer reader, contact Horton at the chamber office at 432-2525 or by email at lhorton@kershawcountychamber.org. She said she prefers emails, in order to use the sender’s email address to respond.

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