Advanced search

ROAR for Reading! a photos gallery

Eastside Elementary readers show the 2nd best reading improvement among South Carolina schools


Read 20 minutes a day.

Play outside 60 minutes a day.

Eat your school breakfast to fuel your day - and lunch and dinner to maintain energy.

Sleep 9 hours a night.

Whoa! Where’s the time left over for chores and homework?

The Carolina Panthers gave the Eastside Eagles this recipe for roaring into reading and flying high toward high school, Thursday at the CHS gym.

The high-energy Panthers program was a reward for Clinton’s Eastside Elementary finishing Number 2 IN THE STATE in reading improvement. Teachers and students ran through an obstacle course, staged a dance-off, and waved teal pom-poms before teal confetti fired from a cannon enveloped them at the home of the Red Devils.

Sir Purr was on-hand, despite his incredibly busy schedule, and a mountain of a young man, 6’3” Chandler Zavala, out of NC State where he was All-Academic for the ACC, encouraged the young readers to reach for that number one spot next year.

When the final game, Let’s Make a Deal, proved disappointing - none of the backpacks had prizes - Sir Purr came to the rescue. He made the executive decision that EVERY STUDENT would attend a scholastic book fair, and take home their choices of three books.

This event coincides with National Read Across America Week. Eastside was being recognized for an impressive increase in the percentage of students scoring at “meets or exceeds” on the SC Ready exams.

Riley Fields, Carolina Panthers Director of Community Relations, donned a red bow-tie and Cat in the Hat head-covering to serve as emcee for the Panthers-Eagles-at-the-Red-Devils-home event.

“You have earned this!” he told the assembled students, teachers and staff.

The students were told by their event coaches that “they said” the Eastside celebration could never get him “because he’s too big, he’s too famous, he’s too in demand” but, because this was a big deal, Panthers Mascot Sir Purr made a roaring good appearance at the CHS gym.

As did District 56 Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields, dancing down the red carpet. “We are so honored that the Carolina Panthers, Bank of America, the State Department (of Education), everyone saw what you can do. It’s all you!” 

Principal Tanya Wilson got the chance to sit in the Big Teal Chair after an escort by Sir Purr. “I am so incredibly proud of what you have accomplished this is for you, not for me - for your teachers and you I am so proud of you.”

Fields, the emcee, talked to the students about continuing their success. He urged the students to eat school breakfast, to start their day with the fuel they need. He said eating school lunch and then dinner is important, also. He asked the students how much sleep is recommended for young people their ages - the answer is 9 hours - “at your age, 9 hours of sleep helps your body grow strong and get ready for the next school day.” The Panthers also encourage young people to exercise outside 60 minutes a day and read 20 minutes a day.

The District 56 Office of Child Nutrition prepares 178,000 meals per year. Cindy Jacobs, the director, said when tummies are growling, teachers know it is more difficult for students to learn.

Zavala said, “3 times is not enough for me, I eat 4 or 5 times. You want to have a lot of energy at school so everybody needs to eat breakfast.”

The 60 minutes of activity per day strengthens the body to keep the mind sharp, the students were reminded. The Panthers in the Community Community Pillars are: Youth Health and Wellness, Military Outreach, Panthers Charities, Youth and High School Football, Keep Pounding, Education and Social Responsibility.