2018 Rogers Scholar Abigail “Abby” Wagers of Clay County reads a book to fourth-grade students in the after-school program at Big Creek Elementary School.

As a young child, Abigail “Abby” Wagers remembers her mother reading her a bedtime story.

Wagers’ love for reading grew out of the time spent with her mother and a good book.

Now a senior at Clay County High School, Wagers said it makes her sad to think that some children are missing out on the incredible benefits of reading.

Wagers, a graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s 2018 Rogers Scholars program, started Learning to Love Literacy for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

The Learning to Love Literacy project instills Wagers’ passion for reading through a pre-recorded video where she reads a children’s book and shares the video with school-age children.

During the school year, Wagers produced a new video each week and played the videos during library time for students at Big Creek Elementary School.

“This project drew me closer to my community and gave me a mentor position with younger children,” Wagers said. “I loved being an example and getting to know these children by sharing my love for literature with them.”

In addition to the video recordings, Wagers took time each month to personally visit the school and read aloud to the fourth-grade students in the after-school program.

Wagers coordinated her book selections through the Clay County Public Library and worked with school officials to schedule the videos and after-school visits.

She is the daughter of Russell and Michelle Wagers of Manchester.