August 2022

From the Director

 Dear Friends, 

It’s that time of year again—Back to School—a time  that parents and children often experience differently.  Generally, parents love it and kids … not so much.  One of the reasons some children don’t enjoy school,  however, is because they struggle with reading and  writing. And that’s where PLC comes in—our tutors  help students improve their literacy skills to the point  where they feel confident about reading and writing,  and this translates to a more positive academic  experience for them. 

PLC has just celebrated its three year anniversary! In  that time we have grown from an idea to a powerful  force for literacy in Horry County. We are currently  tutoring 50 students with 10 students waiting to be  paired with tutors. We encourage all our volunteers  and supporters to help spread the word about the  important work our organization is doing to improve  literacy in our area in the hopes that this will inspire  others to become tutors.

September promises to be an exciting month: Our  first Big Book Bazaar Fundraiser will be held on  September 10 which will be a wonderful opportunity to  spend time with fellow bibliophiles. Thank you to all  who donated books for this event! Award winning poet  Dan Albergotti will be sharing his poetry during the  brunch and browse portion of the event (you can read  all about Dan on page 2 of the newsletter). 

We are in also in need of volunteers to help out at the Bazaar. Anyone interested should contact Kim Savon  at 843.945.9278 or [email protected]

Our new book club will host its first meeting on will be reading and discussing Barbara Kinsolver’s  Prodigal Summer. Books are part of a “book kit”  provided by Carolina Forest Library and can be picked  up at PLC offices or checked out at the library. We would like to keep the group “cozy” and hope for 10  participants. Please sign up by contacting  Patricia: [email protected]  

Attention golfers! PLC’s second annual golf scramble  will be held on November 14. The cost is $100 per  player and $400 for a foursome which includes lunch.  There will be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction at the  event as well. Businesses—please consider sponsor ing a hole for $125. It’s a great way to promote your  business while supporting a worthy cause. Help make  our fall fundraiser a success! Sign up at our website  and contact Polly Putorti ([email protected])  for information on how to volunteer at this event.  

Here’s to a great school year! 



Dodi Hodges  

Executive Director 

Palmetto Literacy Council 

Address: 1010 5th Avenue North, Ext.,  Suite 102, Surfside Beach, SC 29575 

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: (843) 945-9278  


Dan Albergotti

The music of language is most obvious in poetry Dan Albergotti 

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dan  Albergotti, award winning poet and Coastal Carolina  professor who will be sharing his poetry as part of  our Best Book Bazaar fundraiser on September 10.  Dan, who teaches poetry, creative writing and litera ture at CCU, earned a PhD in English literature at  the University of South Carolina in 1995 and an  MFA from the University of North Carolina in 2002.  He is the author of several poetry collections: The  Boatloads, Millennial Teeth, Of Air and Earth and Circa XXMM

I asked Dan about his thoughts on poetry in the real  world—outside of academia—and he explained that  poetry is often underappreciated by the general  public because people’s experience of the genre is  often focused on attempting to understand what a  poem means. According to Dan, a love for poetry is  often squelched in high school. He believes poetry  should be taught but not interpreted, as it is more  important for readers to appreciate the sounds  created and the metaphors used. Experiencing  poetry should not be about “unlocking the puzzle.” 

“I do like the idea, though, that meaning is not  necessarily undebatable. There should always be  some level of ambiguity and more than one way to  interpret a poem,” Dan said.

 He approaches teaching poetry with the under standing that writing poetry is natural for anyone  who is interested in language and in pushing the  boundaries of what language can do. This fall Dan  will be teaching an Intro to Poetry course and a  graduate level poetry course. Advice he gives his  students: Read voraciously in contemporary  American poetry in order to be aware of what the  ongoing conversation is. Read broadly and get a  sense of how poetry is being written now. 


Things to Do In the Belly of the Whale 

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days. Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you. Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all the things you did and could have done. Remember treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes pointing again and again down, down to the black depths.

He tells his students to “write with reckless abandon  and to indulge themselves.” Some students have  the romantic notion of the poet sitting on the hillside  waiting for poetic inspiration that inevitably results in  a perfect poem, but real poetry does not happen  that way. Dan wants his students to understand that  poems are crafted things and that real writing  comes in the shaping and revision. Jack Gilbert  (one of Dan’s favorite poets) captured Dan’s own  philosophy on poetry when he said, “Poetry is one  of the very few ways we have of making what’s  important visible.” 

Dan’s inspiration is derived from being alive to the  importance of everything he encounters and in look ing to see what is beyond the surface. “We all have  our one life and it is very easy to get numbed in a  routine of our daily lives. Poetry allows us to stop  and give everything that much more attention,” Dan  said. He tells his poetry students to  be aware that life is finite and he  encourages them to make the  most of everyday. That is how he  lives his life, tuned in to the sense  of urgency in creating art and in  doing something meaningful.  Although there is not a high  demand for poetry, it has a further reach today because of social  media. Poems can spread much  easier now according to Dan. His  

poem “Things to do in the Belly of the Whale”  written in 2000, was widely shared during 2020.  “It is a poem about feeling trapped, treading water,  not having many options,” Dan noted, perhaps  speaking to the way people felt during the global  pandemic. 

Dan will share several of his poems and discuss his  craft and thoughts on writing and reading poetry at  the brunch and browse portion of our Best Book  Bazaar. Tickets are available at our website. We  hope to see you there!  

Student Achievements


Top 10 Literary Fiction Fall 2022  

Bliss Montage: Stories – Ling Ma             The Deluge – Stephen Markley           Demon Copperhead – Barbara Kingsolver  The House of Fortune – Jessie Burton     The Furrows – Namwali Serpell     Liberation Day: Stories – George Saunders  

Now Is Not the Time to Panic – Kevin Wilson                                                            Our Missing Hearts – Celeste Ng               The Passenger and Stella Maris – Cormac  McCarthy                                             Sacrificio – Ernesto Mestre-Ree

The PLC Process

Since its inception in 2019, Palmetto Literacy Council has served children throughout Horry County who come to us through a variety of channels. Many of our students are referred by their schools; others discover our services through the rack cards we have placed in area libraries. Still others are referred by psychologists and speech therapists. Our social
media presence has also helped parents find our organization. Once we receive a referral, a parent contacts us expressing interest, and our executive director (ED) conducts a screening meeting to determine the student’s level of achievement in reading &/or math. During this meeting the parents and their child might
also share information about the child’s learning experiences in school. Once the paperwork is complete, the student is paired with an available
tutor. Parents initially meet with the tutor to set up a schedule while the ED conducts a baseline assessment to determine the appropriate program the tutor will implement with the student. Tutors are then trained on the individual program and the tutoring journey officially begins. Tutors will then work with students for one hour twice each week.

The primary goal is to make sure the student is reading at a level that they can be successful at school. Some children read at grade level and at the same time cannot comprehend what they read–once we can get them those comprehension skills in place they graduate. When tutoring is finished, we celebrate with the tutor, student, and parents. The children get a book (picked out by their tutor) and a certificate that they have “graduated” from tutoring.


Preston McKever-Floyd

Halcyon is the word for August, defined as happy,  peaceful, golden. This takes me back to the blissful  summer days of youth, where I lost track of time and  days, whether playing in the family yard, nearby  woods or at the shore. However, the origin of the  term is more dramatic and happens in the winter. 

King Ceyx, founder of the city of Trachis in Thessaly,  whose royal consort was Alycone (Halcyon),  became distraught at the death of his brother.  Feeling that the gods were viewing him unfavorably,  he decided to take a voyage to Delphi to consult the  oracle of Apollo. Alcyone, who was the daughter of  Aeolus, King of the winds, sought to dissuade her  husband of the idea, because she was aware of the  treachery of the winds at sea, but was unsuccessful. 

During a horrendous thunderstorm, Ceyx’s ship was  struck by lightning, splintering it. Many of his crew  drowned, but he and others were left clinging to  pieces of the wreck. Ceyx calls for help as he clings  to a plank but to no avail. He perished with the name  of Alycone on his lips. 

Morpheus appeared in a dream to inform Alcyone of  her husband’s death. Ceyx’s body appeared to her  floating toward the shore. Overcome with grief, she  threw herself in the sea, but before she touched the  water, she was transformed into a bird. Skimming  across the water, reaching his lifeless body, she  embraced him with her wings and attempted to kiss  him with her beak. Out of pity for her tremendous  grief, the gods transformed them into a pair of king fishers.  

Since this time, the legend relates, Alcyone  [Halcyon] buries her love at sea by building a nest  and launching it out to sea. There, she lays eggs  and hatches her brood, she nests seven peaceful  days before and after the Winter Solstice. The sea is  unusually calm, during her brooding period; thus the  halcyon days.

Recommended Read

Have You Seen Luis Velez?                                By Catherine Ryan Hyde


From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde brings heartwarming authenticity to the story of two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear. 

September Book Club Read

From the Back Cover:  

Barbara Kingsolver’s fifth novel is a hymn to wildness  that celebrates the prodigal  spirit of human nature, and  of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of  human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel’s intriguing protagonists face  disparate predicaments but find connections to one  another and to the flora and fauna with which they  necessarily share a place.

Word of the Day

Sign up for “Word of the Day” at and  then take the “Quiz of the Week” to see how well  you remember the definitions. Here are a few  words—maybe you can sneak a few into conversa tions with your friends. They’ll be impressed!                                                Wizen: to whither, shrivel, dry up           Hoary: tedious from familiarity; stale              Draconian: rigorous; unusually severe            Convivial: friendly, agreeable            Galvanize: to stimulate                               How does a word get into the dictionary?                  It’s a word that’s used by a lot of people. It’s used by those people in largely the same way. It’s likely to stick around. And it’s useful for a general audience.


All proceeds from the Charity Golf Scramble will  directly benefit Palmetto Literacy Council. Funding  offsets the costs to operate at no charge to the  community, is used for volunteer training, curriculum  and assessment materials, etc. Classroom teachers  across Horry County consistently report that students  who go through our tutoring program increase their  reading and writing skills as well as increase their  confidence.  

We encourage local businesses to participate in this  fundraising event as sponsors and as participants.  We couldn’t do our work for the community without  the generous support of local businesses. Please  consider this opportunity to promote your business,  reach your target audience, and help a great cause. 

We will begin promoting our sponsors via our website,  newsletters, and events every month through Novem ber. If you would like to include an offer for our swag  bags or virtual swag bags, there is no additional  charge to do so for our sponsors.  

Please contact Kim Savon with questions 843.945.9278  or email [email protected] 

Scroll to Top