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Troup High students help plan Literacy on the Lawn event

To Morgan Holloway and Grace Braswell, participating in drama classes at Troup High School (THS) is more than just about a grade. Both ladies are leading the charge with teacher sponsor Noel Jordan to bring literacy to the masses of Troup County through the Literacy on the Lawn project.

Jordan, an educator and director of theatre at THS, has been with Troup County School System (TCSS) for four years. When she saw the push for literacy, she jumped on the bandwagon by bringing the idea of Literacy on the Lawn to her students.

“I wanted to put this community action project to work here. I talked to my student cast members about the idea before Christmas, and we decided to make it happen on our show week,” Jordan said. “Since January, the leadership team has been out in the community making contacts, lining up vendors, and gathering donations. It is primarily a student-led community action project; I am just the facilitator.”

Tenth grade student Holloway said the students are backing the majority of the planning. Holloway is so passionate about dramatic arts that she has three class periods a day with Jordan. This year, she chose not to become a cast member in the upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” show, but focus more on the literacy project.

“Literacy is so important to me because it has to start with a good foundation,” Holloway said. “If you don’t start young, then you will never really be interested in it. I’ve always loved the idea of literacy and spreading knowledge and education to kids in the community.”

The second-year drama student also shared that during her planning, she noticed the event will bring families and businesses throughout the county together.

“This event fosters community and brings people together,” Holloway said. “You have businesses coming together to support children and literacy and that is really good to see.”

The culmination of the event will be the final show of “Beauty and the Beast.” While the cast will be performing for elementary school students during the week leading up to the event, their final act will be at 8 p.m. that Saturday night.

“We have so many elementary schools come and they get tons of information about literacy. Theatre expands children’s minds,” said Braswell, a junior who has been participating in drama throughout her high school career. “In ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ the title character Belle, reads a lot of books. The play shows art and color and imagination — all of the things that impact literacy — and we are excited about the project and how it ties into what we love to do here.”

The ladies said Belle will be on the lawn to read to children at her ‘Books with Belle’ booth.

All money raised will be used to purchase books for elementary school students.  The event will take place on May 4 and will also include a 5K zombie run, 1K bubble fun run, open car and truck show, business expo, dog show and blood drive. Admission is $1 or a school supply item.