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Press Release

NEA surprises South Carolina students with 500 free books!

Greenview’s Monaview Elementary School students are recipients of first-ever Read Across America Sweepstakes
Read Across Contest Image
Published: November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Surprise! Today the National Education Association, in coordination with the South Carolina Education Association, presented nearly 500 new books to delighted students at Monaview Elementary School in Greenview, South Carolina. They are the elated—and deserving—recipients of the first-ever Read Across America sweepstakes, which awarded a free set of books from the 2021-2022 Read Across America calendar to every class in the winning participant’s chosen public school.

“Congratulations to the students of Monaview Elementary School for earning the title of first-ever recipients of the Read Across America sweepstakes,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “The delivery of nearly 500 books to these happy and surprised students today not only brings new, diverse books into the classrooms but also will open new worlds and experiences for these students. Everyone, no matter their race, place, or the language they speak at home, deserves to see themselves represented in the books available at their public school. Let’s provide kids with more books that are as diverse and complex as the world in which they live so that we can create more lifelong readers, more writers, more thinkers, and more people who understand that the world is far richer than just their experiences alone.” 

Monaview Elementary School first-grade teacher Catherine Holub-Ward, an NEA and SCEA member, entered the Read Across America sweepstakes on behalf of her students. NEA randomly selected the winner from among more than 27,000 submissions. The contest ran between September 23 and October 7, 2021.

“These books are all going to move across our curriculum and across our day. When I think of books, I think of how our students are the leaders of our classrooms and the best ones to think about their lives and what is relevant. What they have to say is where I go next,” said Catherine Holub-Ward. “My students get so excited and energized especially when it comes to reading books. Reading is exciting and critical to discover whom they and who their community is. I can feel my students’ excitement—our reading chart is off the charts! They dive right in and they love to share and recommend books to each other. Books are central and essential to what we do as educators. The more books, the better!”

“The South Carolina Education Association is proud to work with the NEA to make today’s special #MonaviewMoment possible for the educators and students at Monaview Elementary School as they receive nearly 500 diverse books,” said The South Carolina Education Association President Sherry East. As the state’s leading advocate for the schools South Carolina’s students deserve, The SCEA believes strongly that all of South Carolina’s students deserve to see themselves in the books in their classrooms. Each book donated represents a chance for Monaview’s students to feel the joy of falling in love with a book, to reinvigorate a love of learning, and, most importantly, to ensure every child has the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the texts in their classroom.”

The Read Across America Sweepstakes are part of the latest NEA year-round effort to connect students with diverse books and the joys of reading beyond a single-day event. In August, NEA unveiled its latest list of recommended children’s and young adult books, as well as its popular Read Across America digital calendar. 

The public event at Monaview Elementary School also marks the start of American Education Week in which we celebrate and honor the individuals working every day to ensure that every student—no matter their race or place—receives a quality public education.

Click on this link to read the official rules of the NEA Read Across America Sweepstakes.  

For more information on NEA’s Read Across America, visit:

Follow us on twitter @NEAToday and @NEAMedia. #readacrossamerica #MonaviewMoment


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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.




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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.