Columbia, SC - What do you call the moment when you read a story to your child? The women at Camille Graham Correctional Institution call it an honor and a privilege.
A group of inmates was chosen by the Department of Corrections to send home recordings of themselves reading stories for their children.
"That connection plus the ability to teach someone to read and let the child know that even though the mother is not there, they still care for them. It helps not only the child, (but) it helps the mother," Director Bryan Stirling said.
"I love your smile so bright and wide, you just can’t hide God's love inside," one inmate read.
And they'll send their story with a special message.
"I get emotional talking about it, but he is my whole heart and I can never tell him that enough, but the dedication page, that's my opportunity to tell him how much he means to me and how much I love him even though I'm not there with him," she said.
The inmate we spoke with said her son is five years old. The Department of Corrections asked that we not reveal the identities of the inmates in this story.
"Even though I'm here and even though my hands are tied to a certain extent, I'm still making a difference and I'm still able to do things for him even though I'm here," she said.
She said she'll always be his mama, but today she felt like Mrs. Clause.
"It makes it all worth it. There's nothing in the world like being a mama," she said.
Stirling said he hopes to extend the program to the men within the prisons. All of the books were donated by Michelin, Delta Dental, the Forest Acres Rotary Club and other groups. First Lady Peggy McMaster also spoke to the inmates.
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