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September 18, 2013

Bringing the Charleston Community Together in Support of Literacy

Reading Partners Charleston to collaborate with the offices of both Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston and Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston this year

Woman tutor with 2 girlsReading Partners Charleston is proud to continue Charleston Volunteers for Literacy’s tradition of building robust community partnerships to support our mission. We are particularly excited to collaborate with the offices of both Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston and Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston this year.


For the 2013-14 program year, Mayor Riley’s office has given invaluable assistance in increasing our program’s capacity by providing us with two AmeriCorps VISTA members to work with Reading Partners Charleston during their year of service. One of our VISTA members will serve as an Outreach Architect to develop volunteer partnerships and recruit new tutors throughout Charleston, while the other will be placed as a Community Builder to manage our Reading Center at Julian Mitchell Elementary. This additional capacity at Mitchell Elementary has allowed us to transform the Reading Center from a part-time site to a full-time site this year, increasing the number of students served from 30 to 50, and increasing the number of volunteer tutors from 60 to 100. Additionally, Mayor Summey’s office has awarded Reading Partners a $10,000 grant, which will help us deepen our impact across the region and serve an additional 100 students overall.

We are also excited about our partnership with Charleston County School District (CCSD) and their demonstrated support of literacy intervention programs like Reading Partners. CCSD’s current strategic plan, Charleston Achieving Excellence, highlights literacy improvement as a key strategy in their goals of closing the achievement gap, elevating achievement overall, and raising the graduation rate. Reading Partners Charleston has been incorporated into the district’s approach to literacy improvement, and last year, CCSD, the City of Charleston, and Reading Partners/Charleston Volunteers for Literacy successfully collaborated to win a $40,000 grant to support Charleston’s Third Grade Reads Initiative, which has the goal of having every child in CCSD’s Title One schools reading at grade level. We are so proud to be recognized as an effective literacy intervention program for the Charleston community.
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