7Read Sizzles in 10th Year

On Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13 acclaimed authors Tim Davis, Chad Crews, Erin Jade Lange, Melinda Long, James McTeer and Greg Neri will spend time with District Seven students and community members to discuss their books. This is the sixth year the 7Reads program has included all schools and grade levels in District 7.
These visits have been organized through District Seven’s Seven Reads Community Reading Initiative. This year the students will hear from the authors before selecting the book of their choice. Seven Reads since its creation the district’s reading initiative, gives a book to every student at Spartanburg High School, EP Todd, Carver & McCracken; then brings in the authors and community leaders to discuss the literature with students at the beginning of the school year. During school visits authors will give students pointers on how to reach an audience, the importance of voice and how to get beyond the writer’s block. This reading program, since its creation, has been a model for more than sixty other schools in the state. Seven Reads was also showcased nationally and internationally in 2007, when syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker published her national article in the The Washington Post showcasing the program.
Since 2006:
*7Reads has brought more than 33 authors to Spartanburg and to District 7
*7Reads has introduced more than 100 titles
*7Reads has put brand new books in the hands of thousands of students (well over 10,000 in the last 10 years!)
Quotes from some of the Seven Reads Founders who will be honored at an assembly on Monday, September 12 at SHS at 9:00am.
“One of the missions at the inception of 7Reads was putting good books into the hands of young people who did not have the privilege of owning many books of their own. I knew our mission was being accomplished when by chance I met a young man on the front steps at Spartanburg High School one afternoon who said 7Reads was the reason he started reading for fun. We began a conversation about the book he had chosen to read, and he responded enthusiastically he had read The Schooling of Claybird Catts; he said it was the first full-length novel he had read. He had met the author, Janis Owens, and she inspired him. I will forever cherish this conversation and the knowledge that this young man enjoyed a powerful story about students who struggle in school and succeed.”
Kathie Bennett - Kathie, along with Rodney Graves (then SHS Principal) co-founders of the program
“The hope was for every student to begin a love for reading while building their own personal library with books from the program. I remember the program gave me the ability to engage in conversations with students, especially the boys, that I had never met. The summer books we read gave us a launch pad to get to know one another and paved the way for me to have relationships with young people I might never have met otherwise.” Jane Breeden
“What a privilege it has been to watch District 7 students interact—in small settings, in serious dialogue—with award-winning authors like Ron Rash and Kathleen Parker, writers eager to share their professional expertise, personal experiences, and enthusiasm with young creatives. 7Reads provided a platform for priceless exchanges between mentors and aspiring writers.” Lynne Blackman

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