Columbia, SC (WLTX) Thursday was Dr. Suess's birthday and to celebrate, children across the state read as part of Read Across America Day.

But Pine Grove Elementary School hosted a very special event called "Real Men Read."

On an ordinary day, Greg Huckleberry works as a businessman, making sure the point of sale devices in Food Lion stores are secure for customers. But Thursday, he went to back to school to read to children.

He's one of more than 20 men who created a story hour Thursday. He says he grew up with a firm foundation in his life, and he wants to be a mentor to others.

"It's just very important to be an active participant in the community, to inspire, you know, young men of color, young girls," he said. "This is just kind of a foundation we can use, you know, as a lily pad or a stepping stone to greater things with our younger people."

The readers were from all walks of life: fathers, police officers, businessmen and firemen. Fifth grade teacher Colivito McKie (who is also a News19 Teacher of the Week) is one of the organizers. He says no matter what you do in life, reading plays a key role. "Reading is important and it is fundamental and if we let the kids see that, and they see how meaningful it is, I think that will be the best benefit," he says.

Third-grade teacher Jaclyn Wallace also organized the event. She says she got the idea because they did it at another district where she taught and she saw the difference it made. Getting the experience of hearing a male member of the community read, she said, fills a void for many students who might not have father figures at home, and the experience plants a seeds for the future.

"I think it's a very good thing to have these men come in and show them that it doesn't matter what you look like, doesn't matter where you came from this is where you can go and it starts with reading," she said.

Pine Grove has special events planned all week that promote reading.