CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation, named for one of the parishioners killed during prayer service in the June 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME, will host a month-long book drive this summer.
The Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation works to continue Hurd’s legacy of engaging the community through her love and appreciation for reading. She was a lifelong Charleston resident and 31-year librarian with Charleston County Public Library.
The goal of the drive – which will take place all of June – is to collect new and gently used children’s books for distribution through the Reading Partners’ network of tutors working in local schools with students needing to improve their literacy and reading levels.
The books will help the students build a love for reading by having their own at-home libraries.
“It’s important to note what happens to these books when they are donated, these gently used books,” said Richard Star, Reading Partners Board Chairman. “They go into our library of books at the vast majority of those books are then given to children in need in our Reading Partners program to take home and build their own personal library.“
The Charleston County Public Library has helped the foundation collect 25,000 books in the past. This year, they hope to collect 15,000.
“I think this is a testimony of those here in the Charleston community, supporting her, supporting her legacy, and by donating a book they are encouraged and remember how she lived, not how she died,” Malcolm Graham, Cynthia Hurd’s brother.
Reading Partners supplements in-school tutoring with a ‘take reading home’ component, which the book drive will directly impact. Each student enrolled in Reading Partners brings home more than 30 books per year.
Star said this is a practice that will further foster a love of reading in students, their siblings, and the rest of the family.”
Residents are urged to drop off new or gently used children’s books for students in kindergarten through second grade at six Charleston County Public Library or Mellow Mushroom locations.