cherish taylor photo

From left to right: Cassy Paschal, Rodney Taylor, Cherish Taylor, Major Taylor, Dinah Taylor, Jessica Burton, Lori Wenzinger. Photo provided by Lex-Rich Five

Irmo Middle School student, Cherish Taylor, has won the third annual children’s book contest sponsored by PalmettoPride.

According to Lexington-Richland Five representatives, Taylor is the first contest winner to not only write her book but also illustrate it. PalmettoPride surprised her at her school with a copy of her published book, Louie’s Park, and news that she was the contest winner. She was also given a state house resolution by Representative Chip Huggins for her accomplishment.

“I have been praying that I would win and I was just really surprised today that I won,” Taylor said. “I was really happy because I always wanted to have a published book and I think this is a good start to have my book published and placed in every elementary school in the state.”

One copy of Louie’s Park will be donated to every elementary school in South Carolina as a continuous effort to educate and encourage students of all ages to be active in litter prevention.

“We wanted to build a library of litter books for South Carolina schools and what better way than to have a South Carolinian write the book,” said Sarah Lyles, Executive Director of PalmettoPride.

PalmettoPride’s mission is to create a litter-free South Carolina, and education is one of the four pillars the statewide organization uses to help fulfill its mission. The book contest is open to South Carolina writers of all ages with an original story idea about the impacts of litter.

“I am thankful for the ‘Litter Trashes Everyone’ book contest,” said Lori Wenzinger, leadership teacher at Irmo Middle School. “The contest supports literacy and provides an authentic opportunity for our student writers. I am so proud of Cherish for her commitment to excellence. She used her talents and knowledge to write an entertaining and informative story to help elementary age children understand the impact of littering.”

Anyone interested in submitting an idea for PalmettoPride’s next book writing contest may contact Jessica Burton at The 2020-2021 contest will open in August.

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