New Zion native makes waves once again with story on fossil legislation
by Robert Joseph Baker | May 5, 2015 4:24 am
Last Updated: May 4, 2015 at 10:38 pm
A 9-year-old New Zion girl who convinced the S.C. General Assembly to adopt a state fossil last year is now publishing a book on her experience.
Holladay House Publishing announced Monday that it has partnered with the S.C. State Museum to release a children’s book, “Can You Dig It? Olivia’s Story,” on May 30.
The book tells of the journey undertaken by Olivia McConnell, a fourth-grade student who wrote Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Kevin Johnson and Rep. Robert Ridgeway, among others, in early 2014, after she discovered the state was missing an official state fossil.
“Olivia decided this was her opportunity to change the world,” said Publisher Holly Holladay. “With the help of her family, friends and local lawmakers, Olivia lobbied for a state fossil. After a long battle, South Carolina declared the Columbian Mammoth as its state fossil in May 2014.”
“Can You Dig It? Olivia’s Story” chronicles this true story in Olivia’s own words. With her story, Olivia said she hopes to empower others, both young and old, by illustrating that age should not prevent anyone from seeking to accomplish great things.
An official release party and author signing will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 30 at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia. The book release is free to attend. Books will be for sale and light refreshments will be served.
The museum will sponsor a special ticket price for a showing of “Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs — The 4D Experience” with purchase of a copy of “Can You Dig It? Olivia’s Story,” valid May 30 only. Author Olivia McConnell will be present to sign copies.
For more information, call the museum at (803) 898-4922 or Holladay House Publishing at (803) 249-0917.
The book will be available at www.holladayhousepublishing.com starting May 30.
Aside from writing her book, Olivia is finishing her fourth-grade year at The Carolina Academy in Lake City. She said she loves science and wants to be an Egyptologist when she grows up.
“Olivia currently corresponds with numerous paleontologists, Egyptologists and professors throughout the world, discussing research and working on her science fair projects,” Holladay said.
Olivia has also raised money for the March of Dimes through her Liv’s Lemonade Stand, with donations totaling more than $20,000 since she was 5. She has been awarded Top Overall Fundraiser for the past two years by the organization, and she has been recognized as one of the Top 100 fundraisers in the nation.
In 2015, she was awarded the National Youth Leadership Award from the March of Dimes.
In her spare time, Olivia enjoys playing the piano and the ukulele. She also enjoys swimming and making “crafts” for her American Girl dolls. Olivia believes in the “power of her voice” and challenges everyone everyday to make a positive difference in the world.