NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WJBF) – Welcome to Amber Glessner’s comfort zone. The New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School library.

“I have always loved to read from a very young age,” Glessner says. “I get super excited about books and so I just want to share that with my students and get them excited about books and about reading.”

She may be the librarian but she lets the students be in charge of her inventory.

“The most important thing is I have what they want. I tell them at the beginning of every school year, this library is not here for me. It’s here for them and so I need to know what they want to read. Everybody gives me suggestions. And if I can’t buy it, I’ll go to the public library and get it for them to read there.”

Amber’s reach extends far beyond these four walls. Her kids can’t get away from her announcements.

“In the bathroom, I do stall stories. I advertise books in the bathrooms as well. So they’re always reading.”

And she knows the benefits of books can be seen everywhere.

“The more you read, the better vocabulary you develop, and just knowledge of all kinds of things, even all fiction books. You don’t even have to ready non-fiction, just the stories help you connect with people and get empathy and learn about things you wouldn’t experience yourself.”

Ms. Glessner also produces a daily newscast.

“It’s very student-lead versus me doing it. I do a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, getting the power points ready because we don’t have a teleprompter. So I type up all of the announcements, and they read from a TV screen.”

Amber Glessner is making such an impact here in New Ellenton. She’s helping her students develop a lifelong love of reading.

“Just the kids,” she says. “I love the kids. Middle Schoolers are something special.”