Reading Oasis


Southern Elementary students Carmen Acevedo, Savannah Coyle, Laurelli Skiles, Emmaleigh Hannah, Annabelle Skiles and Mariana Beltran Gonzalez share their favorite authors at the Reading Oasis dedication.


The pleasure of reading a good book is many times associated with a comfy spot in order to do so. The Scott County Kiwanis have donated a Scholastic Book Oasis to the school library at Southern Elementary. The oasis includes 450 books, shelves, a rug and several bean-bag chairs to encourage the children to enjoy reading. 

The unit has a value of over over $5,000 half of which was paid for by the Kiwanis and the other half donated to the school by Scholastic Books. 

Teryl McLane, communications director at Scholastic Books is thrilled to be a part of the generous gift. Her organization is able to donate approximately 50 of these units across the country each year. 

“Our Reading Oasis provides year-round access to books...books that kids will want to read and having a beautiful space filled with books is a tremendous gift to the students and that will enrich their lives immeasurably.”  

The donation comes as a welcome addition to the school and just in time to help Southern Elementary launch of the 20/20 Reading Challenge for students and parents.

According to Family Resource Youth Services Coordinator Torie Hundley, the children and parents of the school are being asked to commit 20 minutes each day for 20 days in hopes of developing a reading habit.

“We are encouraging not just the students themselves but the whole family to take 20 minutes each day and read together,” said Hundley. “The books the Kiwanis donate can be taken home without signing them out, if the student wants to continue reading at home.”

Hundley added the Kiwanis generosity makes a difference in the reading opportunities the school can offer the students.

“The reason we donated the books is that we would like to expose the kids to more books and reading. We feel that books are the cornerstone to a child’s literacy development,” said Kiwanis member Anette Eades. “We partnered with Scholastic so we can give kids and families access to books and resources to help develop a lifelong love for reading and learning.”

Some of the local Kiwanis also serve as volunteer school mentors, which Hundley said is particularly helpful.

The Scott County School website has the application instructions for those people who are interested in becoming a volunteer in the school system. The Kiwanis are also looking for volunteers and for sponsors.

“100 percent of the money we generate is returned to the school, the more money we make the more money we can give,” said Eades. She added that she hopes the club can continue to help other schools in Scott County in the years to come.  

 The name “Kiwanis” was coined from an American Indian expression, “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “We trade.” In 1920, the motto of Kiwanis became “We Build.” It remained the motto until 2005, when members voted to change it to “Serving the children of the world.” Originally, members focused on business networking but in 1919, the organization changed its focus to service — specifically service to children. Georgetown children benefit from both the Scott County Kiwanis and the Georgetown Kiwanis.


Jackie Anders can be reached at

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