Lots of smiling faces thanks to new books through the Original Six Foundation

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 11:40 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - One book can change a child’s life.

Imagine what 30,000 books can do. That dream is becoming a reality this month through the Original Six Foundation’s My First Library program. More than 3,000 South Carolina kindergarten students are getting to choose ten high-quality, grade-level summer reading books during their end-of-the-year book fairs.

Some of the books being distributed came from you, our WIS viewers. A couple of months ago, I told you about the book drive and you graciously donated.

Kara Gormley Meador is the executive director for The Original Six Foundation. She joined WIS Midday with a wonderful update about the books collected that are now going into the hands of little ones.

The Original Six Foundation teamed up with more than 30 public schools to provide South Carolina’s highest-need students with at-home libraries through a series of book fairs that were held statewide throughout the month of May.

Meador points out, “A Clemson University study found that 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves. Students participating in the O6 My First Library program are invited to select 10 books from a diverse offering during the book fairs. Targeting resources at this stage of development is critical to a child’s academic success. Studies show that students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. Poverty compounds the problem. Students who have lived in poverty are three times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate high school on time. In addition, students suffered learning setbacks during the pandemic. An Amplify Education Inc. study found 40% of first-grade students were reading well below grade level in 2020, compared with 27% in 2019.”

Learn more about the Original Six Foundation at https://www.originalsixfoundation.org/.

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