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April 30, 2020

Reading Partners looking to give 1,000 backpacks to students in need

Originally published on April 27, 2020 by Michal Higdon on LIVE5 WCSC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – Hundreds of students were already behind their grade level in reading before schools closed their doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But as some of those students are falling even more behind, one organization is trying to help.

Reading Partners is a program that places tutors in area schools to work with students who need help with their literacy and reading levels.

But because school doors have been closed for more than a month, the students aren’t getting the extra help they need.

“With this unprecedented time outside of the classroom, our students are slipping further and further back every single day,” Reading Partners Senior Executive Director Kecia Greenho said. “Everyone is worried about that.”

It’s a reason Reading Partners is looking to help in another way.

“We will be sending home 1,000 book bags full of summer reading materials, books and activities,” Greenho said. “It’s really just to make sure that kids have books in the house.”

This is all a part of their After the Bell Program. Thanks to a generous donation from those in our community, even more kids will have backpacks.

“We have 800 students that we work with,” Greenho said. “Our board and Michael and Pam Wilson, she’s a longtime tutor with us at North Charleston elementary school, have stepped up and really issued a challenge to the community to provide an extra 200 backpacks to students who are in need of those resources.”

“It’s really critical for those children to get up to their reading levels so they can be successful in future school and in life,” Pam Wilson said. “And just the enjoyment of reading for them to be able to go out and pick up a book and escape to wherever they want to go.”

Michael Wilson added that reading is such a foundational skill and something he and Pam are passionate about.

“I think the work that’s being done here is really helping the most vulnerable in our community stay on pace,” Michael Wilson said.

Click here if you can help.

The goal to fund these backpacks is to raise $25,000 by Thursday.

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