Public-Private Partnership builds home libraries for upcoming first graders across South Carolina

SC Future Minds and Bojangles’ hold book fairs at 13 high-poverty schools across the state


Charleston, SC—Low-income upcoming kindergarteners who struggle with reading are receiving brand new home libraries before going home for the summer, thanks to an innovative program, My First Library, run by SC Future Minds with support from Bojangles’, the Dollar General Foundation, and the Longleaf Fund. In 2018, the program will nearly double in size and impact with 988 students receiving 10 books each to take home for the summer.

Studies show that the “Summer Slide” accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers. Meanwhile, the positive effects of summer learning programs like My First Library endure for years.

SC Future Minds selects partner schools based on publicly available data, specifically the statewide poverty index and reading proficiency scores. SC Future Minds also considers whether the school has other sources of support, targeting those schools with the greatest unanswered needs. Among the thirteen My First Library schools served in 2018, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations on English is 16% or less.

The program works with upcoming first graders in an effort to foster a love of reading early in a child’s education. Early intervention also helps halt the growth of achievement gaps between high-performing students and those who enter school with reading-associated challenges.

Because 92% of students say they are more likely to finish a book that they pick out themselves, My First Library book fairs allow students to choose from dozens of titles selected for their reading level and interests.

“To build a child’s first library is to give a lifelong gift of the love of reading—and all the academic success that comes with it,” says Caroline Mauldin, Executive Director of SCFM. “We are grateful to Bojangles’ and their customers for making hundreds of ‘first libraries’ possible for children who need them most.”

SC Future Minds will hold book fairs at the 13 My First Library schools during the month of May. Those schools are: Mary Bramlett Elementary and Luther Vaughn Elementary, Cherokee County; The Cleveland Academy of Leadership and Mary Wright Elementary School, Spartanburg 7; Clinton Elementary, Lancaster County; Hyatt Park Elementary, Richland One; Browns Ferry Elementary, Georgetown County; DP Cooper Charter, Williamsburg County; Mary Ford Elementary, Charleston County; Fairfax Elementary, Allendale; Nevitt Forest Elementary, Anderson 5; and Rosenwald Elementary and Lamar Elementary, Darlington County.

Funds for the program are raised in part through Bojangles’ stores throughout the state. During the month of September, customers can buy a “book sandwich” at any Bojangles’ store with all contributions going towards My First Library.

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About South Carolina Future Minds

SC Future Minds believes that public schools are the incubators of South Carolina’s future. The organization champions world class student achievement by supporting excellence in teaching, encouraging collaboration among education stakeholders, and connecting private financial support to public schools. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works with every school district as well as the state’s top businesses, SC Future Minds serves as a vehicle for much-needed investments that strengthen the continuum of public education in South Carolina.
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Media Contact

Caroline Mauldin
SC Future Minds

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