Reading initiatives at Fort Jackson schools will get a boost in 2018, courtesy of a grant award from the National Education Association's Read Across America and the NEA Foundation.

The Fort Jackson Association of Educators was awarded a $3,000 grant from NEA to help fund the local's Read Across America Program. The grant will be used fund two author visits, as well as a student writing presentation -- called Author's Tea -- for the school community.

"The application process asked schools to outline their NEA Read Across America events," said Dr. Kerrie Ammons, C.C. Pinckney Elementary School speech pathologist and one of the grant authors. "We had to write and plan around NEA Read Across America's theme: 'Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.' We had to include objectives, results expected, timeline of implementation if funds were awarded, and a project budget."

The Author's Tea event gives students an opportunity to share their writings with their Families and classmates. Stakeholders will be invited to visit classrooms, enjoy cookies and punch and above all, listen to readings by student authors.

"I think what makes us stand out is our risk-taking and service oriented nature," Ammons said. "We want what is best for our students and the Fort Jackson community. We will never turn down funding that can provide extraordinary learning opportunities for our students."

This year's grant was written by Ammons and post educators Alan Danahy and Jenna Vaughn.

Read Across America is a project of NEA that uses Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat for its nationwide reading initiative. Last year, C.C. Pinckney Elementary School's Fort Jackson Association of Educators was awarded a $3,500 NEA Read Across America grant, which was used to fund the Reading Prize Patrol and a Dr. Seuss birthday bash.