Reaching out to students through reading

The Marlboro Mill recently embarked on a challenge to encourage youth in the community to read more books. Roughly 40% of the children in the surrounding area are not meeting state standards when measuring English/Language Arts scores on standardized assessment tests. In an effort to support teachers educating local kids, the mill partnered with neighboring community schools to push an initiative entitled “Reach for the Highest Branch.”

The project targeted students ranging from Pre-K through eighth grade. Mascot Owen the Owl from Domtar’s Forest Academy kicked off the event by visiting each school to pass out bookmarks. During his visit to Bennettsville Primary, Owen the Owl greeted students as they entered the school.

Each participating school was given the goal to have their students read a pre-determined number of books in a nine-week period. When the school achieves their goal, they receive a donation of copy paper from the Marlboro Mill.

As author and poet Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” The Marlboro Mill agrees with Maya, and we are working to see the students of Marlboro County reach for the highest branch and grow their future.