JCPS community focuses on literacy with JoCo Reads event


Johnston County Public Schools students, staff, parents and community members connected with local authors at the first-ever JoCo Reads event on Dec. 6 at Selma Elementary.

Featured authors included Benson resident Shelby Stephenson, Smithfield resident Cornell Cox, Youngsville resident Kim Beall, Princeton resident Hope Toler Dougherty, Cary resident Julia Day, Pine Level resident Evelyn Wool, and Clayton resident Sherry Storrs.

JoCo Reads: A Showcase of Local Authors was an initiative by JCPS to allow the district’s stakeholders to hear from local artists on their journey in becoming published authors.

“It’s important for students to see that the things they’re learning in school can be applied to their lives,” said Nicole Mellott, JCPS Academic Innovation coordinator. “We want them to know that even in small towns you can have big dreams.”

Ms. Mellott moderated a panel among the authors where they answered questions about their careers and gave advice to guests on applying reading and writing to their lives.

“I was so excited when I found out the school system was having this event,” said featured author Evelyn Wool. “I think it’s very important to get people excited about reading and to let them know about all of the resources available to them right here in Johnston County.”

After the panel discussion, the dozens of guests had an opportunity to talk one-on-one with the authors and purchase copies of their signed books.

Authors who were scheduled to participate but were unable to attend include JCPS student Gabrielle Bryant, Jackie Dove-Miller, and Donna Campbell Smith.


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