Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All-Male Reading Blitz at Carver-Lyon Elementary School

Mike Woolfolk speaks to Ms. Squirewell's fifth-grade class at
Carver-Lyon Elementary School in Columbia.
TWG President and CEO Mike Woolfolk was among several local civic and business leaders to participate in the All-Male Reading Blitz at Carver-Lyon Elementary School in Columbia.  The goal of the event was to impress upon students the importance that reading plays in their lives.

"This was a great chance to spend time with young students at a very impressionable point in their lives," Woolfolk said. "Reading is so important to their overall success."

Woolfolk visited Jessica Squirewell's fifth grade class where he read the book "You Can Do It" by Tony Dungy, the former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.  Dungy coached the Colts to victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

In the book, Tony's little brother, Linden, is a third grader who is having a bad day at school.  Linden is the youngest of the Dungy family and the least motivated because he hasn't found "it." In a family where everyone seems to have found their special talent, all Linden knows is that he wants to make people happy.

With encouragement from his parents, a helping hand from his older brother Tony, and inspiration from God, Linden learns that if he dreams big and has faith, he can do anything!

"I chose the book from a basket in the media center because of the message Coach Dungy is sending with the story," said Woolfolk, a former television news anchor.  "Hard work and faith can take you a long way toward achieving dreams, even while facing difficult challenges."

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin
speaks to male students at
Carver-Lyon Elementary School.
Following the classroom visit, Woolfolk held a "rap session" with a small group of first grade boys.  "We all have to play a role in helping these young boys develop into responsible men," Woolfolk said.  "I applaud Dr. Gallman and her faculty for organizing this program and inviting us all to share insights and wisdom with the boys."

Among the men also participating in the Reading Blitz were Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, Richland One Schools Superintendent Percy Mack,  Richland One trustees Jamie Devine and Aaron Bishop, former Richland One trustee Dr. Jasper Salmond, local businessman Rudy Cunningham, motivational speaker and former All-America basketball player Roscoe C. Wilson, Jr. and several education students from Benedict College.

The Men of Carver-Lyon Elementary School
following the All-Male Reading Blitz event.
Carver-Lyon Elementary School is located in Columbia's redeveloping Celia Saxon Neighborhood.  Principal Dorothy Gallman invited all participants to return and visit the school often to help her students learn, grow and succeed.

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