Posted: Friday, May 15, 2015

Over 17,500 elementary school students attending 28 targeted schools will have their summers brightened as Public Education Partners (PEP) celebrates the donation of 210,000 books and kicks off the third annual Make Summer Count reading campaign.

Each child will receive 12 free books as part of PEP’s Early Grades Reading Initiative, which is a collaborative effort with Greenville County Schools on its district-wide implementation of Balanced Literacy.

Students at each targeted school are visiting Book Fairs over the next few weeks to make their own choices about the books they want to read. “Much like building a house, building better readers requires the proper tools,” said Grier Mullins, Executive Director of Public Education Partners. “Books are the tools for reading. All children must have the tools to succeed.”

Jim Shew of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and a member of the PEP Board, said, “Through PEP’s collaborative work with GCS and other community partners, we are strengthening and supporting student achievement in a measurable way ,which gives every child in Greenville County a better opportunity to succeed. As a corporate partner, it is great to see our dollars going into programs like Make Summer Count that impact students immediately.”

“Reading is the foundation for academic success in all subject areas. Books can excite their minds and ignite their passion for learning more. They may not even realize that they are also becoming better readers,” said GCS Superintendent W. Burke Royster.

Children with few books at home do not have sufficient opportunities to practice reading during the summer. As a result, these children lose critical reading skills during summer months, making it difficult to catch up.

PEP’s Make Summer Count program is made possible by the support of major donors including BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Greenville Health System, Greenville Drive, Hollingsworth Funds, John I. Smith Charities, Jolley Foundation, and United Way of Greenville County. 

Schools Participating in PEP’s Make Summer Count Program:

AJ Whittenberg, Alexander, Armstrong, Berea, Brook Glenn, Chandler Creek, Cherrydale, Crestview, Duncan Chapel, East North Street, Ellen Woodside, Gateway, Greenbrier, Grove, Heritage, Hollis, Lake Forest, Mitchell Road, Monaview, Robert E. Cashion, Slater-Marietta, Sue Cleveland, Summit Drive, Taylors, Thomas E. Kerns, Tigerville, Welcome, Westcliffe.

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