By Nicole Huff
Scioto County Candor
In an effort to bring together the future of the community, students from various school districts around Scioto County have been given the publication, “Not a Drop to Drink,” by Ohio author Mindy McGinnis, to participate in a community reading project, as well as a series of other events; such as a short story group, author meet-and-greet and more.
According to information released by the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC), the program has donated dictionaries to local school districts as part of its literacy program, but technology has changed and fewer children are using physical dictionaries, which is why Rotarian Jay Willis decided the group needed to update its program.
“I contacted Mindy through e-mail and we started corresponding, and I got to know her. I actually met her in person at the Ohioana Library Association meeting in April last year,” Willis stated.
After a thought-provoking discussion, McGinnis and rotarian Jay Willis sparked an idea to come together and make a collaborative program that would benefit hundreds of students all around the county, the ESC explained.
According to the information released, the story tells of a young woman defending her pond in a world where water has become a scarcity. The book was a featured title in the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio program. Individual copies of McGinnis’s title were given to every eighth-grade student at the following school districts:
Bloom Vernon, Green, Minford, Northwest, Notre Dame, Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, Sciotoville and Valley.
The book’s sequel, “In a Handful of Dust,” will be given to each school district’s library, as well as the Portsmouth Public Library.
The Portsmouth Rotary, the Scioto Foundation, Portsmouth Public Library, Shawnee State University (SSU), South Central Ohio ESC, Portsmouth Area Ladies and Southern Ohio Medical Center are the collaborators who combined together to create this educational program. The Portsmouth Public Library will be hosting various upcoming events, as they have high spirits for the arrival of author McGinnis, including:
Short Story Group — 2:30 p.m. April 5
“Page to the Stage” Theater Group — 2:30 p.m. April 19
Author Meet-and-Greet and Book Signing — 4 p.m. April 26
Author Talk — 5 p.m. April 26
The students participating in the program will read the book in their classrooms, and then attend a lecture with the author at the at 9 a.m. on April 26, at SSU’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at in Portsmouth, where McGinnis will be speaking of her series.
During her visit, McGinnis will also be speaking to students in public relations and young adult literature classrooms at SSU. McGinnis will be participating in a forum titled, “Podcasting Ins and Outs for Teens,” at 7:30 p.m. on April 25 at the Portsmouth Area Children’s Theater. The event will be followed by a public signing at 8:30 p.m.