WINNSBORO — “Reading is cool.” “We love to read.” That was the sentiment of children at the Fairfield County School District’s annual Read-In held April 26.
As is tradition, the event was held at Fortune Springs Park in the old armory building. Students snuggled up on blankets and a few had out sleeping bags as they relaxed while they read.
Fairfield County Librarian Sarah McMaster has been doing the read-in for 18 years.
“This is a great partnership with the town,” she said. “The Friends of the Library helped with some of the entertainment expenses and we are so thankful the town allowed us the meet in this building.”
The School District of Fairfield County supplied transportation and lunches to the children involved. Each of the district’s schools was represented.
“The students bring in things they read themselves. We add in a few new wrinkles but there is a lot of tradition we keep up each year,” McMaster said.
The top readers for each school attended. School media specialists determined the top readers using Reading Counts points and the number of books students read as benchmarks.
“The students received T-shirts to commemorate them as the readers of their schools,” said Harriet Pauling, Fairfield Middle School media specialist. “At some schools they use the top reader per level and at others they include the top readers across the entire school.”
Storyteller/magician Mark Daniel read “The Patchwork Quilt” to the students and received helpful audience participation, in part from his ice breakers of magic tricks. Superintendent J.R. Green spoke to students and posed for photographs with read-in mascot, Hootie the Owl.
McMaster encouraged the students to come by the library in the summer to have their reading count totals tabulated. Fairfield Middle School was chosen as Hootie’s home for the next school year, a real honor for that group of dedicated readers.
Students from Kelly-Miller Elementary were so in love with reading that they did without half of their field day to attend the read-in.
Pauling loved to see the enthusiasm for reading. “Students tell me what books to order and we try to,” she said. “They are there waiting on the library to open at 7:30 a.m., too.”
Daniel said he loves coming from North Carolina to Fairfield County, having helped 20 years with the summer literacy program here.
Green congratulated the students on their efforts to learn to read, noting that at some point they transition into reading to learn. That growth allows students to expand their knowledge and skills level in remarkable ways, he said.
Contact Kevin Boozer at 635-4016 ext. 14 or email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinboozer.