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February 1, 2024

Reading Partners South Carolina seeks volunteers to enhance childhood literacy

Originally published on ABC 4 NEws

enhance childhood literacy

Reading Partners South Carolina is asking for volunteers.

Their goal is to expand childhood literacy through tutoring.

Reading Partners South Carolina partners with Charleston County and Berkeley County School Districts to deliver one-on-one literacy intervention each week.

Volunteers can help as little as one hour a week and follow a step-by-step curriculum.

“This past year 97% of our k through two students met or exceeded their primary and a year growth goal,” Director of Community Engagement Christine Messick said.

Their goal is to empower students from under-resourced communities.

“We work with kids who are typically waiting six months to two and a half years behind grade level, and we’re able to narrow that gap within a year’s time,” Messick said.

Messick said four out of five South Carolina fourth graders from under-resourced communities cannot read at grade level.

She also said students not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

They hope to change that.

“We have a goal of serving 645 students this year. We’re currently at just over 400. We’ve set a very time-sensitive goal of trying to get 75 of those 245 students enrolled by February 15,” Messick said.

To do this, they need 50 volunteers before the Feb.15 mark.

Messick said without strong literacy skills, Charleston’s students won’t have a strong foundation for learning they need to succeed in school and beyond.

“Twenty percent of average students are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. And we know that they’re not reading proficiently by the end of third grade, there’s an 88% chance they’ll never catch up, and they’re four times more likely to drop out of high school,” Messick said.

Messick said no prior experience is required.

To learn more or sign up to volunteer, click here.

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