Mission:  to provide innovative, grass roots materials that offer a window into the importance of our collective stories to all children.

Vision: Children will become strong readers, writers, and thinkers, and take their place in the world of work when they understand their role in the story of their community, state, and the nation.

Guiding Principles for South Carolina: Right Under Our Feet

  • The Profile of the South Carolina graduate provides the foundation for reaching our mission and vision.
  • Every child in South Carolina can learn to read when actively engaged in the process.
  • Conversation is a pre-requisite for reading and writing and must be strategically built into the curriculum.
  • Children want and need to express themselves through writing.
  • Personal engagement through stories encourages children to share their story. This engagement transfers into wanting to know about others.
  • Project based learning offers a way to teach children how to think by offering a microcosm of the necessary skills to solve problems.
  • Technology is a tool to assist students in researching, problem solving, and preparing for the world of work.
  • The story of South Carolina is the story of our nation in many significant ways, and this story is the heritage of all the students in our schools.
  • Students are motivated to learn when they are engaged and rewarded both intrinsically and extrinsically for their success.
  • A feeling of pride in our heritage and inclusion for all is important to our future.

Sal and Amanda, representative of the South Carolina state amphibian, the spotted salamander, invite students on adventures to learn to read, write, and think.  They do this through reading, writing, listening, speaking, and creating. Recognizing that children are highly engaged through activity-based learning, the materials provided by Carolina Reads give students a strong foundation for their important role in the story of our state.  

contact us:  solesbeemaryann@gmail.com | (864)-848-4641

Meet the Team

Program Author
Mary Ann Solesbee, Ph.D.


Dr. Solesbee has always loved stories! She and her father created stories about animals that lived in their woods in the Upcountry of South Carolina where she grew up, and she always kept a journal as a little girl.

She taught children in South Carolina schools for many years. She always read aloud, told stories, and shared her love of South Carolina history with her students. Now, she teaches teachers to do the same with their students. She is Professor of Education at North Greenville University Graduate School.

She created Sal and Amanda, representative of the South Carolina state amphibian, the spotted salamander, to teach students about their state. She has written a series of books for middle grade students with these characters, and now she is writing for YOU!

Program Illustrator
Tony Waters

Tony Waters has been drawing all his life. He grew up on John’s Island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. He creates maps and has been the illustrator for many children’s books. He brought the ideas for Sal, Amanda, Uncle Newt, and now, Sally, to life with his clever creations of the characters.

Book Designer
Jane Carter

Jane Carter is an artist and Graphic Designer from the South Carolina Midlands. She designs books and magazines for people all across South Carolina and many other states.

She took Dr. Solesbee`s stories and Mr. Water`s drawings and put them together to help you learn about South Carolina`s history and traditions.

Audio Services
Andrew Stevens

Andrew Stevens teaches electronic media industry, television and radio broadcasting, media ministry, interpersonal communication, and speech at North Greenville University. He also advises the student-run radio station, WNGR, and the video platform, VisionTV, which is distributed via social media.  He is also very active in the local sports production scene as a sports camera operator for various outlets. He created the audio production of the Reader’s Theater for South Carolina: Right Under Our Feet.

Audio Production by North Greenville University Communication Department Cast

Sal - Austin Hughes - NGU Student
Amanda - Abigail Nix - NGU Student
Sally - Ashley Rosa - NGU Student
Announcer/Teacher - Kasie Thomas - NGU Student
Supplemental Voices - Linnea Stevens, NGU Alumna
Uncle Newt - Andrew Stevens, D.Min. , Assistant Prof of Communication

Music Composed and Performed by Jacob Johnson, Adjunct Instructor of Guitar
Production and Editing- Andrew Stevens, D.Min. , Assistant Prof of Communication

Others who helped make this book possible:

Education Consultants and Reviewers

Laura Camp, Business Development Manager, LENA, Early Talk Education, early childhood specialist.

Wanda Cromer, Academic Coach, University of South Carolina-Upstate, Spartanburg, SC.

Shemeka Dawkins, Principal, New Prospect Elementary, Spartanburg District One Schools, Campobello, SC.

D. Brian Day, Instructional Technology Specialist, South Carolina ETV and Public Radio.

Nan Dempsey, Ed.D. Education Consultant for STEM Education, specialist in integrated lesson planning with technology.

Tina Harrell, Media Specialist, Woodruff Middle School, Spartanburg School District Four, Woodruff, SC.

Jimmy Pryor, Ed.D. Assistant Superintendent for Accountability and Technology, Spartanburg School District One, Campobello, SC.

Carolyn Styles, ED.D. Retired Principal and School Board Member, Greenville County Schools, Greenville, SC.

Debbie Wright, Retired Principal and English Language Arts Curriculum Consultant, Spartanburg, SC.

Teacher Consultants

Leah Bomar, 1st Grade Teacher, Integration Specialist, Lyman Elementary, Spartanburg District Five, Duncan, SC.

Lynette Kelley, Retired K and 1st Grade Teacher, Music and Outdoor Classroom Specialist, Charleston County School District, Charleston, SC.

Mary Jacqueline McGrath, 2nd Grade Teacher and STEM Evaluator for Clemson University, Greenville, South Carolina.

Amber Pitts, Reading Recovery District Lead Teacher, Spartanburg School District One, Campobello, SC.

Andrea Robinson, Reading Coach, Integration, and Technology Specialist, Union County School District, Union, SC.

Heidi Sever, 1st Grade Teacher, Writing Specialist, Skyland Elementary, Greenville County Schools, Greenville, SC.

Christie Summers, ESOL Teacher, Language Specialist, Spartanburg District 7 Schools, Spartanburg, SC.

Culture Consultants

Harold Hatcher, Chief of Waccamaw Tribe, Conway, SC.

Victoria Smalls, Gullah Geechee Cultural Preservationist, Former Federal Commissioner, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, Beaufort, SC.

Technical Consultants

Ben Bache, Manager of the PBL Project, assisted with web services

Brennan Revels, Junior Systems Administrator/InfoSec Support, ITS, assisted with QR codes