Book drive honoring Emanuel 9 victim ends Thursday

VIDEO: Book drive honoring Emanuel 9 victim ends Thursday

Thursday is your last chance to donate books to a good cause.

June 30 marks the last day of the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Book Drive.

Hurd was one of nine people shot and killed at Emanuel AME Church last year. She worked for the Charleston County Public Library System for more than 30 years.

Donated books will be utilized by Reading Partners-Charleston, a non profit where volunteers tutor students in kindergarten through fifth grade who are below their reading level.

"There are so many homes I know with no books at all," Jim Frye, Reading Partners volunteer, said. "We have kids come in the first grade that can't say their alphabet. They can't count."

More than 4,000 books have been donated, according to Christine Messick of Reading Partners-Charleston. The books will be sent home with Reading Partners students so they practice their skills outside of the classroom and weekly tutoring.

"Each student, each week will be able to take a book home for free to hone on the skills they've learned in the classroom and also share the love of reading with their families," Messick said.

According to Reading Partners-Charleston, 80% of children living in poverty in South Carolina do not read at a proficient level.

"There's a true literacy crisis here in South Carolina and across the nation, and we know when kids cannot read proficiently by the third grade, they're four times more likely to drop out of high school so it's very important we reach these kids at an early age," Messick said.

If you would like to donate new or gently used children's books, you can drop them off at any of these six library locations until 8 p.m.:

  • Dorchester Road Regional Library – 6325 Dorchester Road, (843) 552-6466
  • Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library – 1735 N. Woodmere Drive, (843) 766-2546
  • John’s Island Regional Library – 3531 Maybank Highway, (843) 559-1945
  • Main Library – 68 Calhoun Street, downtown, (843) 805-6930
  • Mt. Pleasant Regional Library – 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, (843) 849-6161
  • Otranto Road Regional Library – 2261 Otranto Road, (843) 572-4094

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