Award-winning author visits Greenville school, encourages reading & writing

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Keeping kids interested in reading isn’t always easy. That’s where one nonprofit comes in, with the simple goal of putting books into students’ hands.

WITN stopped by a Greenville classroom Wednesday where students were introduced to an author based right here in Eastern Carolina.

“We always tell our kids, if you can read, you can do anything,” Greenville South Elementary Media Coordinator Angie Miller said.

What she said is true. Interest in reading is something schools are always trying to grow in students, and Greenville South Elementary 4th and 5th graders spent Wednesday morning getting inspiration to do just that.

Sheila Turnage, an award-winning author, spoke to students about her book Island of Spies. Based on World War II events with fictional characters, the book is set on Hatteras Island.

“I love being able to encourage them and say, look, I live over in Farmville, and if I can write a book that’s like this and is doing this well, you can write a book,” Turnage said.

Each student was able to take home their own copy, thanks to First Bank of Greenville and a nonprofit called Authors in Moore Schools, which Angie Tally launched.

“You have it, you own it, and book ownership just inspires, encourages pride in books,” Tally said.

Tally is also an employee at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines.

This is at a time when schools are trying to catch up.

“Coming off of the pandemic years, we didn’t have as much exposure in the libraries,” Miller said. “They weren’t checking out as many books. So this is just sort of a wide-open year. Everyone’s coming back in, and the more exposure they have, the further they’ll go.”

It’s all about exposing the next generation to the importance, but also the fun of learning.

We talked to a few students who said they enjoyed the presentation. They held their new books fondly.

“I got to hear about World War II, and I got to see what their houses looked like,” 4th grader Laderek Howard said.

“I’m so happy I can read it, and when I’m done, I’ll give it to my big sister because she loves reading books,” 4th grader Corday Powell said.

The nonprofit Authors in Moore Schools is based in Moore County. It decided to expand to more areas to help open doors for a larger number of students. That’s what brought them to Greenville Wednesday.

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