Original Six Foundation launches literacy program
The Original Six Foundation has announced the launching of the 2021 My First Library Program across the state of South Carolina, and Florence 1 Schools is one of eight school districts whose students will benefit from the program. Established in 2016 by South Carolina Future Minds, the My First Library Program allows early childhood students to stay engaged and improve reading skills during summer months. Absorbed by the O6 Foundation in July 2020, the program will reach 1,250 students with 12,500 new books this year.
My First Library will impact over 330 Florence 1 students in 5K to ensure they are prepared to enter the first grade. According to the foundation, targeting resources at this state of development is critical to a child’s future academic success is an under-served effort across the state. “Students who can’t read by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school,” said Nikki Haley, founder and chairperson of the O6 Foundation. “That’s why these libraries are so important to students in the Pee Dee. We’re telling these kids they matter, we’ve got their back, and we are going to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.” My First Library book fairs were held at North Vista Elementary and Wallace-Gregg Elementary last week. Delmae Elementary and Lucy T. Davis Elementary will hold book fairs on Friday. The announcement of the My First Library Program garnered positive reactions from local educators.
“At Lucy T. Davis Elementary, we are elated to partner with My First Library to begin building home libraries for our kindergarten students,” said Principal Sonya Graves. “If we want to close the achievement gap in schools, then providing access to as many books as possible is the best place to begin.”
“The books given by My First Library Partnership will hopefully help to close this gap and encourage students to spend more time reading which will improve their reading skills,” said North Vista Elementary Principal Sharon Dixon.
“Delmae teachers and students are looking forward to this upcoming event that will support our early readers!” said Delmae Reading Coach Jill Russell. “These free.ooks will increase the volume of at home reading materials on our students’ bookshelves at home.”
“It is important that a love for reading be cultivated at an early age, and this program gives an opportunity for our students to expand their horizons through literature,” remarked Wallace-Gregg Elementary Principal Tara King.
Founded in 2011, by then Governor Haley, the O6 Foundation works to improve education by identifying gaps and filling them through hands-on engagement and resources.
In addition to the O6 Foundation, key community partners for the My First Library program include Bojangles, The Longleaf Fund, The Women’s Club of Columbia, and the Carolina Panthers.