Columbia City Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine Spearheads “Together We Can Read” Initiative

by LP Green, II

l to r:  Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine, Richland School District One Superintendent Dr. Percy Mack and Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson.

Columbia City Councilmember Tameika Isaac Devine, The City of Columbia, and Richland School District One held the sixth annual “Together We Can Read” program. Mayor Steve Benjamin, members of Columbia City Council, members of Richland One School Board of Commissioners, U.S. Senate candidate Rick Wade, and Richland County solicitor Dan Johnson were all on hand to read to the delight of almost 2,000 third grade students.

The initiative is a collaboration between the City of Columbia and Richland School District One and is spearheaded by Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine. It focuses on encouraging students to read and introduces them to community leaders. Over the last five years almost 10,000 children in Columbia have participated in the program.

This year’s book, This is the Rope: A Story of Migration (Nancy Paulsen Books) written by Jacqueline Woodson, is a story of one family’s journey North during the Great Migration. It starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move North to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother. Each student who participated in the read-in event received a copy of the book.

“Becoming proficient in reading and writing is critical to the academic success of our students,” stated Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine. Devine continues, “It is our hopes that this interactive event continues a journey in which books would shape and change the hearts and minds of our children.”

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