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Program provides 10,000 books for local children this summer

From staff reports

The United Way of the Lowcountry is partnering with Pi Phi, The Public Library Foundation of Beaufort County and the Beaufort County School District to provide nearly 10,000 free books to children this summer as part of a new program called The Book Drop Extravaganza.

This program was designed to get books into the hands of children throughout our community this summer to encourage them to read.

“Becoming a stronger reader is achieved through practice, just like becoming better at sports or an instrument,” English Language Arts Coordinator for Beaufort County School District Melissa Murray said in a release. “The more you practice, the better you become. Our goal is to spread fun and joy around reading. Think of the fun, having so many children reading the same book at the same time.”

Through August 2, free books including picture books and chapter books will be available for students at Beaufort County meal drop sites, lending libraries, and public libraries throughout Beaufort County.

Each Monday morning, books will be dropped off at each of the sites listed below and will be available until they run out. There will also be enrichment activities, book readings, and more to go along with each book on United Way of the Lowcountry’s website at

“Fight the summer slump by picking up a book to read,” USCB Associate Professor of Literacy and United Way of the Lowcountry’s Education Impact Chair Renarta Tompkins said. “You may not be able to leave the house, but your mind can travel anywhere with a book.”

Grants provided by Pi Phi, United Way of the Lowcountry, and the Public Library Foundation of Beaufort County, in partnership with Beaufort County School District have made this program possible.

For more information, visit United Way of the Lowcountry’s website at


Beaufort County Meal Drop Sites (9 a.m.-noon)

Coosa Elementary

Bluffton Middle School

Battery Creek High School

St. Helena Elementary School

Whale Branch Middle School

Lending Libraries

Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center

Hilton Head Island Elementary/ Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts

Okatie Elementary

Red Cedar Elementary

Port Royal Elementary

Pat Conroy Literacy Center

USCB Center for the Arts (Beaufort)

United Way of the Lowcountry (Beaufort)

Public Libraries

Beaufort Library

Bluffton Library

Hilton Head Library

Lobeco Library

St. Helena Library