How CCF met literacy challenge in Charleston County 15 years ago with launch of Reading Partners

Tutor from reading partners sits with studentsWhen needs arise in our community that aren’t being addressed by an existing organization, CCF is uniquely positioned to bring together our resources and relationships to help seed new efforts to fulfill those emerging needs.

In 2007, the leadership of Charleston County School District identified improving literacy as a key goal and looked to CCF to help establish a program that would serve students across the district. CCF funded, launched and became the fiscal sponsor of Charleston Volunteers for Literacy, now known as Reading Partners, which placed volunteers in low-income schools throughout the county to help children master basic reading skills.

The organization is still going strong 15 years later. For the 2020-21 school year, Reading Partners partnered with 10 local schools — providing nearly 250 students with 12+ one-on-one tutoring sessions. CCF has supported the nonprofit with more than $1 million in grants since it was established 15 years ago.

The organization further proved the essential role it plays for children across the district during the pandemic. Reading Partners received a $15,000 grant through CCF’s Covid-19 Relief & Recovery fund to provide equipment for ten new Covid-19 response remote tutoring centers in the Tri-County region.

The centers were critical to the success of the organization amid the pandemic. Providing direct oversight limited potential cyber risks to students as well as allowed volunteers to quickly resolve technical issues that may have otherwise disrupted learning.

“Covid-19 forced schools to close in the late 2020 school year and has continued to impact and disrupt consistent instruction for our most vulnerable learners. Reading Partners was able to pivot and bring its one-on-one, evidence-based literacy intervention to a virtual space so that our students could still be supported,” said Kecia Greenho, Sr. Executive Director of Reading Partners. “The CCF Covid-19 investment was integral to our ability to staff and provide all supplies needed to set up these tutoring centers.”

260 students in 10 Charleston and Berkeley county Title 1 Schools received continued support from tutors at the centers while using the new online platform.


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