Original Six Foundation distributes over 30,000 books to kindergarten students in rural & underserved communities

May 16, 2024

There’s no greater gift to a child than teaching him or her to read. There’s also no more important academic skill. That’s why the Original Six Foundation’s My First Library program is supporting South Carolina children whose families often do not have the resources to properly nurture a proficiency in and love of reading.

Throughout the month of May, the Original Six (O6) Foundation will distribute over 30,000 books to 38 schools in rural and underserved communities in the Palmetto State. My First Library offers more than 3,000 South Carolina kindergarten students an invitation to choose ten high-quality, grade-level summer reading books at end-of-the-year book fairs. Research shows that students who are not reading at level by fourth grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time. The O6 is working to ensure students have the resources they need to read.

“The Original Six Foundation would like to thank all of the groups and individuals who hosted My First Library Book Drives, donated books, or made a financial donation to this program,” Original Six Foundation Executive Director, Kara Gormley Meador said. “This year’s My First Library Book Fairs have truly been a statewide effort with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), South Carolina’s Center for Education Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and Bank of America’s Columbia branch leading efforts to collect new early reader books for the children we serve,” Gormley Meador said.

My First Library book fairs are held at public schools that have been classified as high poverty by the South Carolina Department of Education. Counties served by the My First Library program include Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Florence, Greenville, Kershaw, Marion, Pickens, Richland, and Union counties.

As an incentive for students to read over the summer, Bojangles is offering a $5.00 gift card to O6 My First Library students who return to school in 2024-2025 with a log that charts the books they read over the summer.

For more information on the My First Library program, or to host a My First Library Book Drive, call Kara Gormley Meador at (803) 422-6081or reach out via email to [email protected].


About The Original Six Foundation

Founded by Ambassador Nikki Haley during her tenure as Governor, the O6 Foundation believes children across South Carolina deserve a quality education regardless of where they are born and raised. The O6 Foundation works to improve education by identifying gaps and filling them through hands-on engagement and resources. To learn more please visit: www.originalsixfoundation.org.