One local teacher helps his students fall in love with reading

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - When competing with phones and video games, picking up a book can sometimes be a second thought for kids.

Here’s how one Aiken County teacher is making it easier to grab a book and read.

For 12-year-old Richard Smith, it’s about time for a haircut.

“My mom really wanted me to get one, and she really couldn’t find a good barber for it,” he said.

After he found out a barber would come to his school, he wanted to get in the chair.

Arrington Weston, lead literacy teacher, SMS said: “We got together and said, ‘why don’t we put this event on?’ We prayed about it, and here we are.”

Schofield Middle School’s lead literacy teacher and a local barber came together to put on this event.

Students like Smith can get a haircut for a reduced price, and every one of them gets to go home with a free book.

“I believe that if we can teach our kids how to read, so many of the issues that we see in our community, the unfortunate issues that we see in our community like crime, poverty, and things like that, we can start to see a decrease in them,” he said.

That’s why he’s so happy to see all these students taking their pick from almost 500 brand-new books.

“It’s heartening. I love it. I love it. The last time we did it almost brought tears to my eyes. I love it. I’m grateful,” said Weston.

Smith is too.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Yeah, I might pick this,” said Smith.

That’s what he chose for his free summer book, but he says it won’t take until summer to start reading.

“Probably on the bus because I really don’t do anything else,” he said.

And after getting a haircut and a free book, Smith says it wasn’t a bad day at school.

“Better than almost all my regular days,” he said.

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