Young Nicole Simon, left, was all smiles Wednesday morning as she got some books from Greenwood County First Steps director Michael Gaskin. First Steps gave out books in Greenwood and Abbeville counties Wednesday.
(Chris Trainor | Index-Journal)
Young Nicole Simon, left, was all smiles Wednesday morning as she got some books from Greenwood County First Steps director Michael Gaskin. First Steps gave out books in Greenwood and Abbeville counties Wednesday. (Chris Trainor | Index-Journal)

Some youngsters in Greenwood and Abbeville got an early Christmas present Wednesday, as Greenwood and Abbeville First Steps gave out free books to children.
First Steps staff members and board members were out and about giving away the books Wednesday morning. In Greenwood, books were passed out at Twin Oaks Apartments on Holman Street. Books were also to be handed out at Phoenix Place and Pinetree Apartments in Greenwood.
In Abbeville, books were set to be handed out at Haigler Street Apartments, an apartment complex on Branch Street and at other locations.
Greenwood First Steps executive director Michael Gaskin said the goal of giving books to children was to support literacy and school readiness, as well as simply putting smiles on the faces of children at Christmas.


First Steps has been giving books to children in Greenwood and Abbeville counties during the holidays for several years. Gaskin said, through the Social Change Initiative, the book distribution was able to expand to other counties this year, including Newberry, Laurens and McCormick.
Many of the books that were given away Wednesday came to First Steps through a grant with First Books. The remainder of the books were funded through the Social Change Initiative and were purchased at Books and Beyond.
Abbeville First Steps director Angela Pruitt said she thinks it is important for young people to get an opportunity to read books on their own time.
“I think it is extremely important,” Pruitt said. “The earlier they can start reading, the better, to promote school readiness and long-term literacy and success.”

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