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Born to Read

The Charleston County Public Library is proud to be a part of Born To Read, a major new program focused on the critical issue of early literacy.

Born To Read was developed in response to research showing that human brain development occurs in the very earliest months and years. When children learn to read before beginning school they dramatically reduce their risk of failing, dropping out, and falling into poverty.

In phase one of Born To Read, MUSC will send every new mother home with a book bag filled with books, information and resources in both English and Spanish to help their babies’ healthy development. Volunteers from MUSC will talk to mothers about the importance of reading to children – even infants and babies – and demonstrate how best to do it. Included in the bags are vouchers redeemable at any Charleston County Library branch for another free book and information on the Library's Wee Reads storytime program for children ages 24 months and younger with their caregivers.

If successful, Born To Read will be expanded to all area hospitals and with the goal of reaching every new mother in the Lowcountry.

Born To Read is an especially critical need in the Lowcountry, where:

  • 40% of high school students drop out,
  • 44% of 25-39 year-olds are insufficiently literate for most entry level jobs,
  • 40% of tax returns filed have an adjusted gross income of $20,000 or less.

This $23,000 program is part of a nationwide movement to increase early literacy that began in 1995. The National League of Cities has identified Born To Read as one of three kinds of services that every city should support for healthy and successful children.

Born To Read is a partnership of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston County Public Library, Friends of the Charleston County Library and Trident United Way’s Success By 6. It is largely funded by a grant to Success By 6 from a private foundation.

For more information, please contact the Children's Department at the Main Library at (843) 805-6893.