From the Director
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!
Palmetto Literacy Council
Address: 1010 5th Avenue North, Ext., Suite 102, Surfside Beach, SC 29575
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (843) 945-9278
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!
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.
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.
Have You Seen Luis Velez? By Catherine Ryan Hyde
From Amazon.com: 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 dictionary.com 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]