July 2021 Newsletter

Happy Fourth Of July!

From the Director’s Corner

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that we are starting an Adult Literacy Program at Patrick Mobile Home Park, 2000 Highway 15 in Myrtle Beach. Most of the adults there speak English and just want to learn to read better and improve their comprehension. These students may be tutored in small groups (2-4 per group, in the same reading level) or individually. Barb Patrick is a very giving person and I look forward to working with her.

An open house will be held on Tuesday, July 6 at 6:30 in the Patrick Mobile Home Park office garage. I’ll need 2-3 people to help with getting paperwork completed and someone to help with screening to determine the grade level of reading. Please leave a message on the office phone (843) 945-9278 or email [email protected] if you are willing to help out. Tutoring for the Patrick Mobile Home Park Adult Literacy Program will most likely be completed at Chapin Memorial Library. These folks work full-time and with the “season” this year being as popular as it is, we will need to work around some interesting schedules, I’m sure.

We continue to reach out to our community to let them know we are here. If you know anyone who is willing to give one hour, twice a week, please send them our way. I will be giving Our Volunteer Orientation and Training on Zoom, Tuesday, July 13 at 6 pm. Thank you to everyone who is vaccinated for COVID. The libraries are fully open, but we are recommending everyone continue to wear a mask unless your student and you are fully vaccinated. The Delta variant of COVID is easier to get and more lethal so we still have to be careful. Wearing a mask is a great way to model for your students to stay safe.

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday. Please stay healthy and safe!

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

What’s in the news?

Volunteers Liasons

Polly Putorti is our Conway area liaison and Linda Murphy is our Socastee area liaison.

Shout Out

Thank you to Bobbie Lipman, grant writer extraordinaire! We were funded through the Ocean View Foundation.

Online Auctions

Our first Online Auction Fundraiser raised over $400. Rock on Stephanie Southworth! The first time out is always the most difficult. We have the “bugs” identified and expect the next auction will be even better.


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.

PLC Book Lovers Book Club

Do you enjoy reading and discussing books with other bibliophiles? Then you might like to join the PLC Book Lovers Book Club. Patricia D’Ascoli will be organizing this monthly book club and would love to hear from those who are interested. Proposed format: Each month the group will meet in one of the member’s homes. The member who is hosting that month will choose the book to read. Book clubs are a fun way to share your reading experiences with others! Tentative start date September.
Contact Patricia [email protected]

The Logophile – Preston McKeever-Floyd

Southern summers provide us with many and varied skyscapes and light shows; not the least of which are rainstorms and/or thunderstorms. There many who are fearful, while many are aficionados of both, and there is accompanying vocabulary. Those who enjoy sitting on the porch during an afternoon rainstorm are pluviophiles (from the Latin: pluvial, rain, and phile, a slang word employed to describe “a lover of something”). Those who fear rain, more prevalent than one might think, are pluviophobic or ombrophobic (from the Latin: ombros, rainstorm, and phobos, “fear or aversion”).
Many among us are fascinated with or can be said to enjoy the experience of lightning and thunder. Ones so oriented is called a ceraunophiles (from the Greek “keraunos,” “lightning” or “thunderbolt” and the Latin phile, lover of). Conversely, those who fear or hate lightning or thunder are referred to as ceraunophobic. So, if you do not enjoy rainstorms or thunderstorms, please enjoy and use the vocabulary.

Book of The Month

Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe as Reviewed by Patricia D’Ascoli

In May I had the pleasure of meeting local author T.I. Lowe whose novel Under the Magnolias was recently published. Lowe, who lives in Loris, was signing copies of her book at Bookends, a used bookstore in North Myrtle Beach, and I was delighted to have her sign my copy. The novel came highly recommended by Vicki Baty, who owns Bookends, as an excellent example of “gritty Southern fiction.” I was intrigued by this description. Before embarking on my reading journey, I felt compelled to look up the word grit. The definition is: “unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.”

It took only a few pages to see that the narrator, Austin Foster, exemplifies this trait as she sets the stage for the story of a family in trouble. A family with dark secrets. A family that has suffered great loss. The Fosters survive only because of Austin’s strength and commitment to a job no teenager should be tasked with—taking care of six siblings after their mother dies giving birth to twins. But the children are not Austin’s only burden; in the face of her father’s mental illness, she must also ensure that their tobacco farm continues to operate.

The novel takes place during the 1980s in Magnolia, South Carolina, a sleepy little Southern town. The Fosters are a quirky bunch—their mother named them all after cities she hoped to visit: Boston (Boss), Phoenix (Peg), Austin (Ox), twins Charlotte and Raleigh, and twins Knoxville (Knox) and Nashville (Nash). The patriarch, David Foster—both a minister and a farmer—is a loving father who is ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Magnolia is peopled by many interesting characters, who are all members of Dave Foster’s congregation. “A fortune teller accused of being a witch doctor; an ex-con with a glass eye; an atheist believer with a Polish accent; the town’s undertaker whose sexual orientation was questionable; the town floozy with a penchant for blue eye shadow; a poor farming family with way too many kids and a madman leading them.” These townspeople all have important roles to play in the lives of the Fosters throughout the narrative.
And what would gritty Southern fiction be without an ill-fated love story? Such is the case in Under the Magnolias—Austin happens to fall for Vance Cumberland, the mayor’s son. Although Vance falls for her as well, their romantic drama is fraught with uncertainty. Their worlds are far apart; their paths divergent. This sweet tender love story floats in and around the angst and loneliness and fear Austin and her sibling experience as they cling tightly to one another while try- ing to survive life with a mentally unstable father.

The novel is a compelling coming-of-age story— we feel Austin’s sorrow and longing and anger too, and wonder at her ability to hold the family together, tending to others’ needs at the expense of her own. We applaud her tenacity, but we don’t always agree with her decisions. But she is, after all, a young woman trying to find her place in a world far more complicated than any she might have imagined for herself.
So yes, Under the Magnolias is indeed gritty Southern fiction. Put it on your summer reading list or choose it for your book club. You won’t be disappointed.

To Beverly Cleary, With Love – Carla Taylor

I was an asthmatic child and recess was tough. All my peers wanted to run around chasing each other for the 30 minutes we were given outside each day. I wanted to do the same, but I knew from experience that if I ran around outside for 30 minutes, I would be in the nurse’s office wheezing, trying to catch my breath for the remainder of the day. So instead of standing around watching all my friends have fun without me, I began going to the school library during recess.

The school librarian, who was also my next-door neighbor, used that time to introduce me to a variety of children’s books, some I read, others I skimmed, and then I came across a book titled Ramona Quimby, Age 8, by Beverly Cleary. Be- ing introduced to Ramona Quimby via Beverly Cleary changed the way I approached reading. It was no longer something to do because I was told to do it. Instead, reading became something I wanted to do because it was fun.

Beverly Cleary, who was born in 1916, created the character of Ramona in the 1950s, but Ramona Quimby, Age 8, was written in 1981. I was 9 and it was totally relatable. “Ramona made a face, ‘Mother, do you have to say that every single morning?’ she asked in exasperation.” (Cleary) What made Ramona so relatable was that as an 8-year-old, she said out loud what many of us were thinking. She said what she was thinking to her parents, sister, teachers, friends, neighbors, etc., and just like in real life, she suffered the consequences of her words and actions. There were definitely lessons to be learned from what Ramona experienced, and Beverly Cleary conveyed those lessons from the point of view of a little girl who was working her way through the anxieties and insecurities of childhood.

Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona” books carried me through elementary school. As I became a tween, another author, Judy Blume, began to speak to me. But I wasn’t done with the works of Beverly Cleary, and I came across her books Fifteen, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny. These books were written in the 1950s and ’60s and although the references were dated, the characters could have been any teen girl I knew during the 80s. That was the beauty of Beverly Cleary’s writing. She spoke to the human experience of growing up—about wanting to be liked and accepted regardless of race or socioeconomic status. Her storytelling spoke to my heart and helped to ease the transitions that we all go through as we become adults.

Beverly Cleary died on March 25, 2021. She lived to be 104 years old and was an active author until 1999. From the tributes that have been bestowed upon her before and after her death, I know that I am just one of the millions of fans who owe her love and gratitude for the books that inspired countless hours of reading and rereading during a very influential time of our lives. So thank you Beverly Cleary for your skill and imagination. I will always sing your praises in an effort to introduce you to another generation of readers who can turn to your books for reassurance.


Participate by completing 10 books or activities and fill in the game board on the back of a postcard found at the library or at the Palmetto Literacy Council office. Return your completed game board to Chapin Library by AUGUST 13, 2021. Additional game boards can be printed from chapinlibrary.org or picked up at the library. The virtual event schedule can be found at chapinlibrary.org/calendar and on Facebook at Chapin Library Myrtle Beach.

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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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