Local restaurant seeks to improve literacy

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A local business owner is leading with reading by taking part in the "Jumpstart's Read for the Record" event, which took place Thursday at schools across the country.

On the menu at Jack's Cosmic Dogs were hot dogs and french fries, with the chance to read a children's book on the side.

"It all starts here (with reading). You can be anything you want," Jack Hurley said. "You can be an honorable teacher or you can someday be the President of the United States. You have to read. You can't get there unless you read."

It was all part of the national "Jumpstart's Read for the Record," where up to 2.5 million young children read the book "The Snowy Day."

Hurley gave away up to 100 copies at his two restaurants, to teachers and students.

"We take books for granted because when I was a kid we didn't have a lot of TV, so we had a lot of books; whereas, a lot of kids now, they don't have books. They go to the library, they got them at school, but they might now have them at home," Hurley said.

Hurley also visited Saint James Santee Elementary School to read to the students and encourage them to read.

Five-year-old Trey Coleman read part of the story out loud. He said it reminded him of the time he played in the snow last winter.

"Me and my brother played a snowball fight," Coleman said.

"It just opens up a whole new world for them with them with a love of reading. There's nothing that can stop them if they learn to read," teacher Stephanie Cooper said.

Hurley said teachers from all over the Lowcountry came in for a free copy of the book to share for the national reading event and to get the students themselves leading with reading.

Read for the Record says by focusing on early literacy, it can increase a child's chances of graduating high school by 30 percent.

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