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Wedding & Event Venue Near Union, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Union, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Union, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Union native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Union, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Union, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Union, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Union, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Union, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Union, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Union, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Union, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Union's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Union.

 Wedding Venue Union, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Union?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Union, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Union, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Union, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Union, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Union, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Union, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Union, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Union, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Union, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Union, SC

Latest News in Union, SC

South Carolina tops women’s AP Top 25; Stanford, UConn next

South Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 choice in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday as the Gamecocks keep close watch on the foot injury of reigning Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.The Gamecocks received all 29 first-place votes in the poll released Monday, a day after Boston left a game with her ...

South Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 choice in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday as the Gamecocks keep close watch on the foot injury of reigning Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.

The Gamecocks received all 29 first-place votes in the poll released Monday, a day after Boston left a game with her injury. Coach Dawn Staley said Boston was “questionable” going forward but added that the “team doctor wasn’t too, too concerned.”

South Carolina’s next game is Tuesday at home against No. 15 UCLA.

Stanford remained No. 2 after cruising through a tournament in Hawaii. It’s the 618th appearance for Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer, tying the late Pat Summitt for most all-time. Summitt’s teams only missed being in the poll 14 times during her Hall of Fame career at Tennessee.

The Huskies are one of four Big East teams to be ranked this week as Marquette entered the poll at No. 24. It’s the first time the Big East has four ranked teams since the conference realigned in 2014. The league is 56-14 so far this season, including going 8-2 against ranked teams.

“We’ve been trying to earn a little more respect,” Marquette coach Megan Duffy said of the Big East. “Tried to schedule tougher non-conference (games). ‘Nova’s playing people. Us going to the Bahamas was great. Creighton’s doing what they’ve been doing since last season. Getting some of those quality wins is everything.”

North Carolina moved up two spots to No. 6 after rallying to beat then-No. 5 Iowa State in the Phil Knight tournament. The Cyclones fell to eighth.

The Tar Heels visit the Hoosiers on Tuesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Indiana returns home after winning two games in Las Vegas at a subpar venue that lacked basic necessities.

Notre Dame remained No. 7 while Virginia Tech and Iowa finished off the top 10. At No. 9, Virginia Tech has matched its best ranking ever and is in the top 10 for the first time since 1999.

Tennessee fell out of the poll this week marking the 56th time in the 827-week history of the poll that the Lady Vols weren’t ranked. Kansas State also fell out with Gonzaga moving in at No. 23.

FALLING CARDINALS

Louisville dropped to 18th in the poll this week after falling to South Dakota State in the fifth place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis last week. It’s the Cardinals lowest ranking since Jan. 11, 2016.

Louisville entered the top 10 in the preseason poll in 2017 and hadn’t been out since, a span of 98 consecutive weeks. It was the longest active streak.

“It’s a compliment to the consistency that we built here,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said of being ranked in the top 10 for so long. “Obviously are goal would have been to stay in the top 10, but it’s a new team and growing.”

AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

SC voices anguish over Union govt’s delay in clearing names recommended by Collegium

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Monday expressed anguish over the delay by the Centre in clearing the names recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary, saying it "effectively frustrates" the method of appointment.A bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka said a three-judge bench of the apex court had laid down the timelines within which the appointment process had to be completed. Those timelines, it said, have to be adhered to.Justice Kaul observed it appeared the government is unha...

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Monday expressed anguish over the delay by the Centre in clearing the names recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary, saying it "effectively frustrates" the method of appointment.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka said a three-judge bench of the apex court had laid down the timelines within which the appointment process had to be completed. Those timelines, it said, have to be adhered to.

Justice Kaul observed it appeared the government is unhappy with the fact that the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act did not pass the muster, but that cannot be a reason to not comply with the law of the land.

The apex court had in its 2015 verdict struck down the NJAC Act and the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014, leading to the revival of the Collegium system of existing judges appointing judges to constitutional courts.

During the hearing on Monday, the apex court told Attorney General R Venkataramani the ground reality is that the names recommended, including those reiterated by the apex court Collegium, are not being cleared by the government.

"How does the system work?" the bench asked, adding, "Our anguish we have already expressed."

"It appears to me, I would say, unhappiness of the Government of the fact that NJAC does not pass the muster," Justice Kaul observed.

Justice Kaul said sometimes laws pass the muster and sometimes they don't.

"That cannot be a reason not to comply with the law of the land," he said.

The top court was hearing a plea alleging "wilful disobedience" of the time frame laid down by the apex court in its April 20 order last year to facilitate timely appointment.

The bench referred to the process undertaken for appointing judges in the apex court and the high courts.

"Once the Collegium reiterates a name, it is end of the chapter," it said, adding, there cannot be a situation where recommendations are being made and the government keeps sitting on them as this frustrates the system.

It said some names are pending with the government for a year and half.

"You are effectively frustrating the method of appointment," the bench observed, adding some lawyers are withdrawing their consent given for elevation to the bench due to the delay in the appointment process.

It said the government sometimes picks just one name from among those recommended by the Collegium and this "completely disturbs" the seniority.

The apex court said the Collegium recommends the names keeping also in mind the aspect of seniority.

The Attorney General said after the apex court passed an order in the matter on November 11, he had some discussion with a secretary-level officer and that he will come back to the court.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who had assisted the apex court in the matter earlier, referred to media reports on a statement by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on the issue of appointments.

"How many statements we take note of?" the bench asked.

During the hearing, when Singh again referred to media reports, Justice Kaul said, "I ignore all press reports."

"When somebody high enough says let them do it themselves, we will do it ourselves," the bench said.

"It is crossing the rubicon by keeping the names pending like this," the court observed.

The bench said both the Attorney General and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta are appearing in the matter.

"So the double barrel gun should work," the bench said in a lighter vein.

It said the Collegium has recommended the names of chief justices for some high courts and these recommendations are lying in abeyance.

"For the last two months, the whole thing has come to a standstill," it said, adding, "Please resolve it."

"Don't make us take a decision on this in the judicial side," the bench said.

The apex court, which posted the matter for hearing on December 8, said it expects both the Attorney General and Solicitor General to play a role to advise the government so that law of the land is followed.

"Till the law stands, it has to be followed," it said.

On November 11, the apex court had expressed displeasure over the delay by the Centre in clearing the names recommended for appointment as judges and said keeping them pending is "something not acceptable".

It had issued notice to the Secretary (Justice) of the Union Law Ministry and Additional Secretary (Administration and Appointment) seeking their response to the plea.

The petition filed by the Advocates' Association Bengaluru, through lawyer Pai Amit, has raised the issue of "extraordinary delays" in the appointment of judges to the high courts as well as the segregation of the names, which is "detrimental to the cherished principle of the independence of the judiciary".

It has referred to 11 names which were recommended and later reiterated.

The plea has said the failure to implement the binding decision of the Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India, even upon reiteration, would amount to a wilful disobedience of the orders of the apex court.

In its order in April last year, the apex court had said the Centre should appoint judges within three-four weeks if the Collegium reiterates its recommendations unanimously.

Coming out with timelines to facilitate the process, it had said the Centre should proceed to make appointment immediately after the apex court Collegium recommends the names and, if the government has any reservations on the "suitability or in public interest", it may send them back to the Collegium with the specific reasons for reservation recorded.

PTI

Religious freedom does not include right to convert others: Centre tells SC

The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that religious freedom does not include a fundamental right to convert other people to a particular religion and that it certainly does not embrace the right to convert an individual through fraud, deception, coercion or allurement.The central government said it is “cognizant of the menace” and laws that seek to control such practices are necessary to protect the cherished rights of vulnerable sections of the society including women and economically and socially backward classes....

The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that religious freedom does not include a fundamental right to convert other people to a particular religion and that it certainly does not embrace the right to convert an individual through fraud, deception, coercion or allurement.

The central government said it is “cognizant of the menace” and laws that seek to control such practices are necessary to protect the cherished rights of vulnerable sections of the society including women and economically and socially backward classes.

The Centre’s stand came on a short affidavit in response to a plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion by “intimidation” and through “gifts and monetary benefits”.

The affidavit, filed through Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, asserted that the reliefs sought in the present petition would be taken up “in all seriousness” by the Union of India” and that it is “cognizant of the gravity and the seriousness of the issue raised in the present writ petition”.

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A bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Raviumar, while hearing the matter, observed it was not against religious conversions but forced conversions, and asked the Centre to file a detailed affidavit on the issue after taking information from states.

“You file a detailed affidavit after obtaining the necessary information from the concerned States… We are not against conversion. But there cannot be any forced conversion,” the court observed.

The court deferred hearing on the petition as well as an impleadment application challenging its maintainability till December 5.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that forced conversion was a “serious menace” and a “national issue” and that in its affidavit the central government has mentioned about the relevant steps taken by certain states.

The affidavit informed that public order being a state subject, various states – Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Haryana—have passed laws seeking to curb forced conversions.

“The Petitioner has, in the present writ petition, highlighted a large number of instances carried out in an organised, systematic and sophisticated manner of conversion of vulnerable citizens in the country through fraud, deception, coercion, allurement or other such means.

“It is submitted that the right to freedom of religion does not include a fundamental right to convert other people to a particular religion. The said right certainly does not include the right to convert an individual through fraud, deception, coercion, allurement or other such means,” the affidavit said.

The Centre said the apex court has already held in a case that the word propagate under Article 25 of the Constitution does not envisage the right to convert a person but a right to spread ones religion by exposition of its tenets.

It said fraudulent or induced conversion impinges upon the right to freedom of conscience of an individual and hampers public order and therefore the state was well within its power to regulate or restrict it.

“Undoubtedly the right to freedom to religion, and more importantly, the right to conscience of all citizens of the country is an extremely cherished and valuable right which ought to be protected by the Executive and the Legislature,” the Centre’s response said.

“The meaning and purport of the word propagate falling under Article 25 of the Constitution was discussed and debated in great detail in the constituent assembly and the inclusion of the said word was passed by the constituent assembly only after the clarification that the fundamental right under Article 25 would not include the right to convert,” it added.

Upadhyay told the court he has filed an additional affidavit in the matter. In the affidavit, he sought directions to review visa rules for religious preachers and foreign missionaries, review foreign contribution rules for NGOs and for taking steps to control hawala funding.

The top court had on September 23 sought responses from the Centre and others to the petition.

Earlier this month, terming forced religious conversion a “very serious” issue, the court had taken a serious note of proselytisation through deception, allurement and intimidation, and asked the Centre to step in and make sincere efforts to check the practice.

Upadhyay has submitted in his plea that forced religious conversion is a nationwide problem which needs to be tackled immediately.

“The injury caused to the citizens is extremely large because there is not even one district which is free of religious conversion by ‘hook and crook’,” the plea has submitted.

“Incidents are reported every week throughout the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits and also by using black magic, superstition, miracles but Centre and States have not taken stringent steps to stop this menace,” said the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The plea has also sought directions to the Law Commission of India to prepare a report as well as a Bill to control religious conversion by intimidation and monetary benefits. PTI ADS

Together Credit Union launches the St. Louis CITY SC official debit card

Together Credit Union, St. Louis CITY SC’s official banking partner, is hosting a scavenger hunt on Sun. 11/13, to celebrate the launch of CITY’s debit card.ST. LOUIS — Together Credit Union, St. Louis CITY SC’s second founding partner and the soccer club’s Official Banking Partner, will be hosting a scavenger hunt on Sunday, November 13, to celebrate the launch of CITY’s official debit card.The CITY debit card...

Together Credit Union, St. Louis CITY SC’s official banking partner, is hosting a scavenger hunt on Sun. 11/13, to celebrate the launch of CITY’s debit card.

ST. LOUIS — Together Credit Union, St. Louis CITY SC’s second founding partner and the soccer club’s Official Banking Partner, will be hosting a scavenger hunt on Sunday, November 13, to celebrate the launch of CITY’s official debit card.

The CITY debit card offers fan exclusive advantages, including:

As the exclusive banking partner of CITY SC, you won’t be able to find these cards anywhere else, and feature the club’s distinct red color and logo.

Those interested in signing up for the card my stop by any of Together Credit Union’s 12 local branches or open any personal checking account online at TogetherCU.org. As a bonus, Together Credit Union will send new cardholders a commemorative print of CITYPARK Stadium, while supplies last.

Community is a big part of CITY SC and Together Credit Union's DNA. Nate Scudieri, Head of Marketing of Together Credit Union said this weekend's event is fueled by that shared value.

"We formed this partnership to do more in our community, and this scavenger hunt is one the many ways we are working together to bring our community together in fun and positive ways," Scudieri said.

The first clue to the Scavenger Hunt will be posted on Sunday morning at 8:00am on Together Credit Union’s Facebook page.

There are five total locations in the scavenger hunt, all of which are in downtown St. Louis.

Participants are strongly encouraged to walk to the locations, which amounts to approximately 1.5 miles in total.

Scavenger hunt prizes include CITY merchandise, VISA gift cards, and two pairs of tickets to the club’s first official match at CITYPARK Stadium on Wednesday, November 16, between CITY2 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

THIS ARTICLE INVOLVES COMMERCIAL CONTENT. THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FEATURED APPEAR AS PAID ADVERTISING. FOR MORE INFORMATION, EMAIL US AT SMSL@KSDK.COM.

SHOW ME ST. LOUIS IS A PART OF 5 ON YOUR SIDE AND FEATURES ST. LOUIS EVENTS, COMPANIES, BUSINESS PEOPLE AND OTHER GUESTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY.

‘It takes a village;’ Union County school partners with barbershops to promote literacy

UNION, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After taking note of low reading scores, staff at Foster Park Elementary in Union County came up with a unique approach to get kids reading. This initiative takes books out of the classroom and into the barber shop.It’s a different approach—but staff says they’re already seeing kids engaged.“You’re really a pillar when it comes to the community because children look up to me,” said Terrance ‘TJ’ Booker, owner of Tee-Jay’s Barber Shop.Like ...

UNION, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - After taking note of low reading scores, staff at Foster Park Elementary in Union County came up with a unique approach to get kids reading. This initiative takes books out of the classroom and into the barber shop.

It’s a different approach—but staff says they’re already seeing kids engaged.

“You’re really a pillar when it comes to the community because children look up to me,” said Terrance ‘TJ’ Booker, owner of Tee-Jay’s Barber Shop.

Like many other barber shops, Tee-Jay’s is a place to sit, chat and of course, get a fresh cut. But now, through the sounds of conversation and the buzz of clippers, it’s also a place where kids can learn.

“So, instead of just having them watch TV, we let them read books,” said Booker.

‘Read while you wait’ is what they call the initiative. Statewide, improving literacy has been a challenge. The problem starts with kids lacking necessary skills before kindergarten to underperforming at the high school level. This program gets all ages reading, by bringing books where they are.

“They look up to their barbers as role models. So I felt like, hey, if the barber tells the kids ‘baby, why are you here, put the phone down for a minute and read this book’-- they’ll do it,” said Dr. Fran M. Adams, the principal at Foster Park Elementary School.

A reading coach at the school brought the idea to Dr. Adams initially and the initiative began in October.

“I think it’s gonna bring our community and our students together and that’s what we really need,” said Tiffany Clayton, a 2nd grade teacher at Foster Park Elementary School.

Staff says already, the program has been a success.

“When they first saw the bookshelf in here that I got from Dr. Adams, they ran straight over to it” said Booker.

From reading at the shop, Foster Park kids can receive points towards rewards at school, and Booker offers kids incentives for reading books too.

“Anything we can do to help and make it fun and interesting is always helpful,” said Melissa Inman, the Literacy Coach at Foster Park Elementary School.

The program won’t stop at Tee–Jay’s.

“There are barbershops from Jonesville all the way to Union, the east, west side of the county” said Dr. Adams.

They’ll expand the initiative---one book and one cut at a time. Beginning next week, Hardie’s Barber Shop and Salon in Union will join in the initiative and soon you might see bookshelves in other shops too.

Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.

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