Boulware, a University of South Carolina alumnus
with a master’s degree from the journalism
school, has been state coordinator for the national
Reach Out and Reach program for the past eight years.
The program promotes parents’ reading aloud
to their children as an integral part of pediatric
primary care and brings thousands of books and literacy
guidance to young children and their families.
Boulware has helped double the number of Reach
Out and Read sites across South Carolina from 60
sites in 2001 to more than 125 sites today, serving
about 95,000 children. Her efforts have secured hundreds
of thousands of dollars in support for Reach Out
and Read, sustaining the program over the past several
years without help from public dollars.
Former principal of Spartanburg High School, Graves
saw book circulation in the high school’s media
center dramatically increase during his tenure. He
understood that his students would be more inclined
to read books of interest to them, and his support
of the school’s first summer reading celebration
gave principals and literacy coaches across the state
a model for engaging students, parents and the community
in teens’ reading. Because of Mr. Graves’ vision,
summer reading celebrations are springing up statewide.
Thompson began working with Richland County School
District One’s Reading Is Fundamental program
more than 28 years ago when she was an elementary
school librarian. She quickly recognized the benefits
the program afforded her students, and she decided
that Reading Is Fundamental was a great way to connect
children and books. As a district consultant and,
later, Director of Instructional Technology, she
continued to push the program to the forefront. Thompson’s
vision helped secure funding for Reading Is Fundamental
from the state Department of Education.
Each year, Thompson participates in statewide activities
to promote reading, such as the Augusta Baker Storytelling
Festival and the annual Read-In demonstration held
in April where more than 1,000 students march from
the state library to the State Capitol.
About the Award...
“The ability to find information is increasingly important in a digital
environment, and literacy is the key to success,” said Dr. Samantha K.
Hastings, SLIS director and professor. “The School of Library and
Information Science is the nexus of a statewide initiative to eliminate illiteracy
in South Carolina. Our children deserve the choices that come with being able
The Annual Literacy Leaders (ALL) awards reception
is sponsored by Verizon Wireless. The award was created
in 2007 as part of the school’s Children, Libraries
and Literacy Initiative.