RUTHERFORDTON — Trinity Christian School kicked off its 10th annual Read-A-Thon Tuesday morning with guest author Ellen Sabin. Sabin is the founder of the publishing company Watering Can Press and is an award-winning author.

Students from Cliffside, Sunshine, Ellenboro, Spindale, Mt. Vernon-Ruth and Forrest Hunt elementary schools joined the Trinity students to hear Sabin speak.

Trinity students greeted visiting students with handmade signs as the arrived.

Sabin said she was happy to join the students Tuesday morning “because, first of all, I am so passionate about reading.”

Sabin said when she was a child she was not allowed to watch television. That being the case, she told the students she would often read a book a week.

“That’s how we grew up and to this day I love doing it because books can take you to new places, help you learn new cultures. It’s this form of art that can take you out of your house without even taking a step out of your door,” Sabin said.

She told students the first book she wrote, titled “The Giving Book,” was a birthday gift for her niece.

“It’s all about caring and figuring out, how ever old you are, what it is what you want to do to give back to the world… I think that no matter how old you are you can make the world a better place through the things that you can do,” Sabin said. “The things that you do every day matter and can make the world kinder and gentler and nicer.”

During the Read-A-Thon, students read aloud sections of the book. Sabin discussed the concepts of giving and charity with the students.

“Giving and charity are what connect us all and make the world a better place,” Sabin told them.

She asked the students to share their ideas of things that they considered as giving and charity.

Students responded “loving others and loving the world,” and “you can help others and take care of the trash on the ground and pick it up… and you can help your family and help a friend and help everybody in the world.”

She also asked students who they have been “giving to,” who they have shared with, who they “have taught something to” and who they “have shown love to.”

Many students answered friends, siblings, or their parents.

She also asked the students about “their wishes and their dreams for the world.”

“Maybe you want to help people who live in countries far, far away, who need food or medicine…Maybe you want to help people who are sick, maybe you think everyone should get a chance to learn how to read and write,” Sabin said. “Wouldn’t you love it if everybody got an education and had books and could learn?”

She asked the students what their wishes were for other people in the world.

They gave a wide spectrum on answers; They wished more people believed in Jesus Christ, that there would be less children in orphanages, that there would be less pollution in the world, that more people would donate to charities, that homelessness would come to an end, that people would recycle more and that everyone could be happy and safe.

“All of those wishes, you guys have the power to make come true,” Sabin said. “All of those wishes are things that you and your community and your family and your church and all of us have the power to do. So what I really want to say to you is that I think all of you, besides having really good hearts, are really powerful and you have the ability to make these wishes come true.”

Sabin signed copies of “The Giving Book,” which the students received.

Trinity students have been reading the book and have been relating it to the school’s theme verse for the year, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works for which God prepare beforehand that we should walk in them.”