June 2021 Newsletter

Happy Pride Month!

From the Director’s Corner

Dear Friends,

June is National Pride Month. There are also several notable days that occur during the month:

June 14 is Flag Day.
June 19 – Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day is celebrated.
June 20 – Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there!
June 15 & 16 – Horry County Schools have half days the last two days of the school year.

COVID is still among us and still spreading, but our lives are getting closer to being back to normal. Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated. Your students may or may not have been vaccinated yet. You and your student will need to wear a mask even if you are fully vaccinated. If for nothing else, to model appropriate behavior. Children 12 and up are now able to get the Pfizer vaccine and possibly the Moderna vaccine soon. After the students have had their second shot and have waited the 2 weeks to become fully vaccinated, no masks are required, except in the libraries (until further notice).

You can reserve a room at Chapin Library. They take your temperature and name as you walk in and you need to wear a mask upon entering until you leave.

Some of the Horry County Libraries are letting us reserve a room for up to 2 months now. I’ll need to fill out paperwork (Carolina Forest Library—done), so let me know if you want to reserve rooms at your library. You must wear a mask upon entering and until you leave.

Stay safe and healthy and enjoy this beautiful month and the summer ahead.

Dodi Hodges, Ph.D.
Executive Director

How You Can Support PLC

Individual membership: $25/year (Pays for materials for one student)
Business membership: $50/year (Pays for materials for two students)

Your business card will be featured in the newsletter and on our website Donate through palmettoliteracycouncil.org

Volunteer and Donation News

Volunteers Liasons

We introduced our new Volunteer Liaisons in last month’s newsletter. For those of you in Conway, Polly Putorti is our Volunteer Liaison and for those of you in the Socastee library area, Linda Murphy is your Volunteer Liaison.

Polly and Linda may have already reached out to meet with you. Please return the favor of their invitation with acceptance and meet with them. These volunteers have extensive, impressive backgrounds and will be exceptionally helpful to all of you in those areas.

My guess is that we will look for a Volunteer Liaison in Carolina Forest and one for the Chapin Memorial libraries in the fall. This summer we may need a Volunteer Liaison for the Patrick Trailer Park Adult Literacy Program as well!

What is a Volunteer Liaison? The Volunteer Liaisons (VL) report to the Executive Director who meets with that person regularly. Volunteer Liaisons are assigned once there are about 10 students being tutored in a particular area in the county.

Their duties include:

  • Check-in with the students (and parents) and our volunteers every couple of weeks to see if they need anything
  • Administer the short progress assessments every 3-4 months for the students in that library region
  • Check-in with the librarians to make sure we are doing our part and how we can help them
  • Make sure there are rack cards or flyers for the libraries
  • Report pre-and post-test scores to the executive director as well as the progress check assessments
  • They will be the first person to contact if there is a concern in their area. Our Executive Director will continue to do the student screenings (that first introductory meeting where the student reads to her) and attend school meetings when invited.

Facebook Donations

We received $255 from Anonymous Donors in April through Facebook’s Network for Good program. We want to thank those of you who have donated funds to keep us going! As you know, we are an all-volunteer organization and all cash donations and grants go to pay for materials for the tutors to use and to maintain our office.


At the end of every quarter, plus 3 weeks, we get a small percentage of purchases made through smile.amazon.com. We want to also thank those of you who have designated us as your charity of choice on Amazon. Once you have designated your charity of choice, Palmetto Literacy Council, then you make any purchases you would normally make on Amazon, through the smile.amazon.com website. Amazon does not charge you extra and sends us a percentage of their profit on the items to us. Please sign up and make your Amazon purchases through smile.amazon.com to help us help our community.

Online Auction Thursday, June 17, 2021 through Sunday June 20, 2021

Dr. Stephanie Southworth is in charge of our online auction. If you have items to donate, please contact her [email protected] or drop them off at the office in Surfside Beach. Just let Dodi know when you plan to come in so she can make sure the office is open and someone is there to receive your items.

Success Stories

One of our adult students was born and raised in Jamaica. She came to the United States as a young adult. She has married, had children, and worked for various hotels in our area. She reached out to Palmetto Literacy Council to learn how to read better. We found a tutor for her who started working with her a few months ago. At a recent visit, we were checking in to see what kind of improvement she was making.

Her response, “I’m reading so much better. When I started, I could not use text on my phone. I could not read the texts. My husband read texts to me and he would write them. Now, my boss writes a text to me and I can read it. I can send her a text too! My tutor, Ms. Phyllis Townsend, teaches me about capitalizing letters, using periods, and so on. I’m so excited to be able to do this!

We have a 61-year-old student who has reached out to us to learn to read for pleasure. She has an Associates’s degree from HGTC. She reports that her instructors really helped her organize her work. She says she reads the material and she just doesn’t remember what she read. We have programs to help her, we need a volunteer to tutor her. The tutor will use our materials and will be able to get help from our Executive Director to help this student with reading comprehension.

We have another student, a young woman in Grade 1 when she started with us. She will also “graduate” from tutoring in the fall of 2021. She will be on grade level and ready for the regular classroom. She has been attending home school since the fall of 2019. Her mom was concerned that she was being ignored in the public-school setting. After all, she was very shy and not very confident about her ability to read. This young woman has blossomed with her tutor!

She is making friends more easily, talking to people more easily, and is very confident about reading. She likes to read to younger children to encourage them to read. Children who feel ignored in class are not going to learn as well as those who feel a part of the class. Sometimes that is a matter of confidence about their own skills. Tutoring is 1:1 and relationships are built through the ongoing learning process. We need tutors to help our community and our children.

Tutors don’t have to be educators and most of our tutors are not educators. We have ICU nurses, school nurses, business people, realtors, bankers, etc. all tutoring for two hours each week, usually one hour twice a week. The materials are set up for ease of use for anyone who enjoys reading. The questions to ask as the students are reading are even provided by the publisher!

Our community has a lot to offer and we need your help as a volunteer to help us enrich the lives of our children. They will be our leaders in less time than we think. Let’s help each other build community through literacy.

All of our tutoring sessions happen in public places, like our local libraries. We had a young man who was in Grade 3, living with grandma and struggling with reading. Grandma reached out to us to help him. We met so that we could get an idea of what grade level he was reading at and what issues he might have during his reading. His reaction to walking into the library was priceless. He looked around at all of the books in amazement.

I asked him if he had ever been to a public library. “No. Never,” he replied. I told him we would take a tour of the library and especially over by the children’s section of the library after he read to me. He was given a few books to choose one to read. He chose the book about bears. “I love bears!” He read a few more books and I was pretty certain at what level he was reading.

We took a tour of the library and our library had see-through backpacks filled with books and activities for children to check out for two weeks at a time. He discovered it first and with great excitement proclaimed, “There’s one about bears!” He looked at his grandma and asked if he could have it. We talked about how he needed to get a library card of his own and he could borrow it for up to two weeks. The excitement on his face was priceless.

His reading is improving and his tutor, who is also a special educator in the public schools, reported that over the summer and fall his reading had improved to the level that we needed to move him up two grade levels. He is now only one grade level below his grade in school. He checks out books regularly from the library, even when he could only go for a few minutes to select a book during COVID.

From Michelle Jaruwannakorn, Aaden’s Mom

During Aaden’s time tutoring he had graduated from Speech and Occupational Therapy that provided through his Individual Education Plan (IEP) at school.

Aaden has also been placed back into his 4th-grade reading English/Language Arts (ELA) regular class and no longer has to be taken out for special services. Aaden has grown a lot on his own, but tutoring has helped tremendously.

Aaden was blessed with a super caring and supportive tutor through the Palmetto Literacy Council. She worked with him twice a week. She also gave me helpful pointers that I could use at home. The Palmetto Literacy Council has been such a big help and I highly recommend it to anyone!

Other News


Thank you to Bobbie Lipman, grant writer extraordinaire! We were funded through Dollar General for an Adult Literacy program. That Adult Literacy Program is taking place thanks to Mary Ellen Lynch, Adult Student Outreach Coordinator extraordinaire. Mary Ellen connected us up with an owner of a Pat- rick’s Trailer Park on Hwy 15 near Pine Island Ave. in Myrtle Beach. We will need tutors in July to meet with adult students at the First Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, not far from the trailer park. There may be some children attending as well. If you know anyone who might be interested in helping us out, please have them contact Dodi ASAP. We will need up to 10 Tutors (and maybe a Volunteer Liaison) for this program.

Thank you to Cheryl Burns our LACES Czar and Marilyn Pollack, our LACES data-entry volunteer. LACES is the database we use for Tutor and Student information, along with the Monthly Reports the volunteers send reporting their hours. This is such important information for us to track. Our Grant Writers greatly appreciate the information from the reports in the LACES database.

Tutors Needed:

We continue to reach out to our community to let them know we are here. We need volunteer tutors in Conway (2), Chapin (3 – 1 child in reading, 1 adult-math & reading), Socastee (2), Carolina Forest (3). That’s 10 tutors needed, so far. With the school year ending, there will be a rush of requests coming in soon as well. If you know anyone who is willing to give one hour, twice a week, and we give them the materials they need, please send them our way!

Carla Taylor is giving the next Volunteer Orientation and Training on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at 6:00 pm, on Zoom.

The Logophile – Preston McKeever-Floyd

One of my favorite childhood television shows as a child was Bewitched. A favorite character was Aunt Clara, who was constantly befuddled, mixing up formulas and incantations resulting in backfiring spells and a comedy of errors.

Having always been intrigued with words, I heard Aunt Clara use a word that meant “after dinner,” referring to an “after dinner constitutional,” a cocktail. I loved the word, but I lost the word and for years could not retrieve it.

Amazingly, in 1985 when I was pursuing a doctoral degree in Religion and Literature at Emory University, I was reading, and I saw a word and immediately knew it was my lost word:“postprandial.”Thetermcomesfrom the Latin: post (after) + prandium (originally, a late breakfast or early luncheon, later any meal” + English al. Thus, an adjective refer- ring to any activity following a meal from a cocktail and cigar to a nap: The guest enjoyed postprandial refreshments on the porch one warm summer evening.

At Emory, I was studying at the Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), which was a lovely environment for all things nerdy. I shared with a professor that I had rediscovered a word from my childhood, and it became the buzz of the institute. It was celebrated like the finding of a rare fossil would have been in an archeology department.

Reading Strategy of the Month

Knowing the purpose for what you read will impact how you read something. Here is a strategy to help you think about the purpose of your reading.


  1. Establish a purpose for reading. Why are you reading?
  2. Is it to find information? Facts, data, time, etc.
  3. Is it to understand an idea or theory?
  4. Is it to find the main idea of a story?
  5. Is it to understand the author’s viewpoint?
  6. Is it to support your views?
  7. Is it to create a timeline to understand events?
  8. Chart the characters?
Types of ReadingPossible Questions & Responses
Content Area TextbooksUsing the title of the chapter we are reading, what is one question you might ask? Example: Title of the chapter – Population What is population, and why is it important?
EssaysWhat is the subject of the reading?
What is the author saying about the subject? How do I feel about the author
s message?
Biographies or AutobiographiesWhat kind of life did this person lead? How do I feel about this person?
How did others feel about this person? What was this person like?
Novels and/or Read AloudsWho is telling the story?
Who are the main characters, and what are they like? What is the main problem in the story?
Where and when does this story take place?
How does the author express his or her message?
TestsWhat is the question asking?
What information is needed in order to answer the question?

Readers Handbook, Great Source Education Group, Inc. 2002

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To improve the literacy of youth and adults in our community by teaching/tutoring basic literacy skills for those who struggle with reading, writing and/or math.


CHAIR: Dodi Hodges: [email protected]
VICE CHAIR: Shawna Roessler [email protected]
TREASURER: Maria Denney [email protected]
SECRETARY: Preston McKever-Floyd [email protected]


FUNDRAISING CO-CHAIRS: Patricia D’Ascoli [email protected], Stephanie Southworth [email protected]
TRAINING COORDINATOR: Carla Taylor [email protected]

MAILING ADDRESS: 1229 38TH Avenue North, #130 Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 1010 5th Avenue North Ext., Suite 101I Surfside Beach, SC 29575


OFFICE PHONE: 843-945-9278
OFFICE EMAIL: [email protected]
WEBSITE: www.palmettoliteracy.org

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