Founded in 2021, DAYLO, or Diversity Awareness Youth Literacy Organization, is a student-led book club and community literacy service group with chapters at Beaufort High School, Beaufort Academy, and Battery Creek High School, as well as across South Carolina. As an ongoing community service project, DAYLO hosts free read-aloud events—called the Teddy Bear Picnic—for young children and their families at the Port Royal Farmers Market, in collaboration with the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Featuring children’s picture books, snacks, stuffed animals, and enthusiastic student volunteer readers, DAYLO’s Teddy Bear Picnic at the Port Royal Farmers Market will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, December 2 and 16, by the gazebo in Naval Heritage Park, 1615 Ribault Road, Port Royal.

The December 2 edition of the Teddy Bear Picnic read-aloud, will feature a very special guest reading at 11:00 a.m., highlighting a new partnership with the National Park Service: Read with a Ranger.  

In 1863, Robert Smalls knew the value of literacy. That summer, he took his young daughter, Elizabeth, to attend private tutoring sessions at the Mission House with a teacher named Harriet Buss. 160 years later, Reconstruction Era National Historical Park is excited to champion the Smalls family’s passion for youth literacy by participating in DAYLO’s Teddy Bear Picnic. At 11:00 a.m., Park Ranger Katherine Freeman will be reading from Seven Miles to Freedom, a Robert Smalls-inspired children’s book written by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Duane Smith.  Seven Miles to Freedom is the inspiring tale of heroism through which famed Beaufortonian Robert Smalls secured his freedom during the American Civil War, beginning his journey to become a U.S. Congressman and champion of free and equitable public education for all children.

Following the reading, the public is invited to attend a noon walking tour with the National Park Service, exploring the site of Camp Saxton. 

To learn more about DAYLO, please visit To learn more about the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, visit To learn more about the weekly Port Royal Farmers Market, visit