"Students Who Read Succeed" the Topic of a Statehouse Thank You
Jubilee Academy's Head Mistress Sandee Hensley sees the benefits for here students with this bill.
Cocky's Reading Express helps raise money to donate books to schools.
By: Ryan Fullam
Students from all over South Carolina gathered at the Statehouse on Tuesday to thank lawmakers for the Read to Succeed bill that was passed last year. The bill helped fund programs to give students who struggle with reading more personalized attention so they are not left behind in school.
The students were taking part in the annual “Read In”, where they had the opportunity to have lunch on the State House lawn, enjoyed their favorite book and showed their passion for reading.
Susan DeVenny is the Director of South Carolina's First Steps to School Readiness. She pushed for the bill to pass because of the importance for all students to maintain the same reading level, especially at a young age.
“When they start so far behind we are really in trouble at the beginning. So this legislation recognizes that fact and puts extra resources there at the beginning,” said DeVenny.
Resources from the program include full-day four year old and kindergarten programs to shorten the reading gap. It also provides reading coaches for students in need throughout the year and during the summer.
The Jubilee Academy was one school participating Tuesday and Head Mistress Sandee Hensley says she sees the benefits of the program for all students and especially underprivileged youth. “Reading opens your mind to the rest of the world, and to live and inspires you to go and do things you never would dream about,” said Hensley. The Cocky's Reading Express bus was also present to try to raise money that will go toward buying books that help students learn.
The program is comprised of student volunteers that travel to elementary schools across the state to promote reading. They serve students in 4K through second grade and help them develop a passion for reading early on.
The program has raised money to buy over 80 thousand books for elementary schools throughout the state.
“These kiddos are going to be able to do amazing things in their life and fulfill their potential because of loving books,” said Hensley.