Reducing poverty in Beaufort through books

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Over 55% of children ages six and below live in poverty in South Carolina, and 17% live in extreme poverty. Statistics show that education is a powerful way to fight poverty, so a group of Beaufort citizens decided to try to do something about it. Out of this passion to help in some small way grew what has become First Books of Beaufort.

First Books of Beaufort was formed to ensure that all low-income children in northern Beaufort County have books in their homes. The local organization operates under the umbrella of the national First Book organization, a 501(c) (3) company. First Book publishers offer the local organization books at greatly reduced rates every month.

Working with the cooperation of the Beaufort County Elementary Schools, FBOB sponsors monthly story hours for 400 four year-olds at seven Title 1 pre-schools in northern Beaufort County. Some of these children had never held a book before they entered pre-school. The students then take the book home, and at the end of the school year, students will have a library of 9 books in their homes. This age group was chosen in order to get children interested in and excited about books before they enter elementary school.

“We often complain about situations that are unfortunate. But rather than complain, we wanted to do something. We decided to join others who are trying to make a difference,” said volunteer, Peg Schlichtemeier. If you would like to join the effort by becoming a volunteer reader, making a tax deductable donation, or sponsoring a school, please call 843-217-5739.