Aiken County literacy teacher strives to make reading fun and free
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The nation’s report card is helping us get a better look at how South Carolina is doing when it comes to literacy rate.
Twenty-seven percent of eighth graders in the state are reading above average. Sixty-three percent of students are reading at their level.
That’s a six percent dip from 2019. Overall, the state is slightly behind national levels.
But one local school is working to change that by making reading fun and free. There are hundreds of new books scattered across Schofield Middle School’s courtyard.
“Every kid gets a free book. We have more than enough to give every child a free book at Schofield Middle School,” said Arrington Weston, lead literacy teacher.
Weston helped get all these books through his foundation. He invited every single student to come to the courtyard and pick one out.
“The kids come, and they shop for different books. They get the books for free. This event will kick off literacy month for us,” he said.
Weston says they’re taking Read Across America Week to another level. Schofield Middle plans to celebrate literacy all month.
“You don’t have time for me to tell you why literacy is so important. When we get our kids to read, we can keep them in the classroom. If we can keep them in the classroom, we can keep them off the streets, out of trouble,” he said.
He says they’ll have book character dress-up days, moments when students can “drop everything and read,” and more. He thinks this can make a big difference in the classroom.
“When literacy rates go up, dropout rates tend to go down,” said Weston.
Westo wants these students to fall in love with reading, and he hopes this is the spark.
If you want to donate any books to Weston’s nonprofit, send him an email to email@example.com.
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