Batesburg-Leesville, SC - On Tuesday, September 25th, Richland County resident Joan Talley made the journey to B-L Elementary School to donate around 1,000 books to students, not knowing that a huge surprise was waiting on her there. That surprise was WIS News 10 anchor Sam Bleiweis who joyfully gave Mrs. Talley the exciting news that she had been selected as one of their station’s Community Builders.
Mrs. Talley has made it her life mission to put books into the hands of students across the state. In fact, over the past few years, she has provided 60,000 books to students in Lexington School District Three, Edgefield County School District, Sumter School District, Allendale County School District, Greenwood School District 51, Saluda County School District, and McCormick County School District. Mrs. Talley, who resides in Columbia and does not have children or grandchildren in any of the districts that she has donated to, personally selects and purchases books from Salvation Army collections, flea markets and Goodwill. She then cleans the books and provides a label for each one denoting the Lexile reading level. Then, she delivers the books to each district, having totaled more than 1,000 miles throughout the years and potentially reaching around 28,000 students. In many school districts like Lexington Three, children are able to take the donated books home to build their personal library collections.
The WIS Community Builder award, which is done in partnership with Mungo Homes, is given to two unsung heroes each month who contribute to the Midlands in a positive way. In addition to being part of a special TV segment that airs on WIS News 10, winners of the award are also given $1,000 from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation that can be donated to a charity of their choice. Mrs. Talley says she plans to use the money to buy even more books for the children of this area because she believes that reading is the key to success in all subject areas of school, as well as life in general.
Congratulations Mrs. Talley!