Carolina Strong Book Drive will honor Cynthia Graham Hurd

Carolina Strong Book Drive will honor Cynthia Graham Hurd
Malcolm Graham (Source: Live 5 News)
Malcolm Graham (Source: Live 5 News)
Cynthia Hurd (Source: Facebook)
Cynthia Hurd (Source: Facebook)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Carolina Strong Book Drive will honor one of the victims of the Mother Emanuel AME church massacre.

Cynthia Graham Hurd was a longtime librarian in the Charleston County Public Library system before she was killed in 2015.

Last year, 4000 books were collected for local children learning to read.

This year's total is 5000 books.

"The foundation's goal is to keep Cynthia's memory alive," said Malcolm Graham, Cynthia's brother."She loved libraries, she loved books. And so this is a great way to honor her legacy and her memory."

Cynthia was librarian for 31 years who cared about literacy and civic engagement.

To honor her life, a foundation was established which produced the book drive which started in 2016.

"She would love this," Malcolm Graham said."This was her world. It's important that I'm standing here in the St. Andrews Cynthia Graham Hurd Library that bears her name. She was all about literacy and books."

You can donate books throughout the month of July at Charleston County library branches which will be given to local students.


A month-long book drive in July to collect new and gently used children's books in Charleston area communities for distribution through the Reading Partners' network of tutors working in local schools with students needing to improve their literacy and reading levels.

The books will help the students build a love for reading by having their own at-home libraries.

"Reading Partners supplements in-school tutoring with a 'take reading home' component, which the book drive will directly impact. Each student enrolled in Reading Partners brings home more than 30 books per year," said Reading Partners Board Chairman Richard Star. "This is a practice that will further foster a love of reading in students, their siblings, and the rest of the family."


The entire month of July 2017.
HOW  to get involved:

Donate, donate, donate! Residents are urged to drop off new or gently used children's books for students in kindergarten through fifth grade at six Charleston County Public Library locations.

Drop off points are located at six Charleston County Public Library's branch libraries:

Dorchester Road Regional Library – 6325 Dorchester Road, North Charleston, 843-552-6466

Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library – 1735 N. Woodmere Drive, Charleston, 843-766-2546

John's Island Regional Library – 3531 Maybank Highway, John's Island, 843-559-1945

Main Library – 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, 843-805-6930

Mt. Pleasant Regional Library – 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, Mt. Pleasant, 843-849-6161

Otranto Road Regional Library – 2261 Otranto Road, North Charleston, 843-572-4094

Drop off points at four Mellow Mushroom locations:

Mellow Mushroom North Charleston - 4855 Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston

Mellow Mushroom Summerville - 1306 North Main St., Summerville

Mellow Mushroom West Ashley - 19 Magnolia Rd., Charleston

Mellow Mushroom Charleston - 309 King St., Charleston

About the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation:

Cynthia Graham Hurd was one of the Mother Emanuel Nine – the church members killed during a prayer service in June 2015. Cynthia was also a lifelong Charleston resident and 31-year librarian with Charleston County Public Library. The Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation for Literacy and Civic Engagement was established to continue Cynthia's work and legacy of engaging the community through her love and appreciation for reading. As a librarian, Cynthia stirred a passion for reading across generations and literary genres. The Foundation works the way Cynthia lived her life by advocating for the expansion of literacy and availability of books to everyone.

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners empowers students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Thanks to the dedication of more than 14,000 volunteer tutors in Charleston, Charlotte and across the nation, the national non-profit Reading Partners organization provides one-on-one tutoring to more than 10,000 students to help bring them up to their reading level – making an important shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Reading Partners has a proven track record of success. For more information, visit
The book drive is being held in partnership with Charleston County Public Library, Live5 News, Wells Fargo and Mellow Mushroom.

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