Duke grant buys books for thousands of DCSD students
A grant from the Duke Energy Foundation enabled the Darlington County School District (DCSD) to purchase books for thousands of kindergarten and elementary level students this summer.
The $27,000 grant from Duke Energy funded two books for every student in grades 4K through fifth in DCSD’s Lamar, Darlington and Society Hill schools.
The grant originally was intended to fund a “Bookmobile” for those areas this summer, but Duke Energy and district officials adjusted the plan due to the coronavirus pandemic. Books were distributed to students this summer during the district’s Summer Reading Camp.
“Getting books in front of our students is critical to their development and education,” said Tim Newman, DCSD superintendent. “We are thankful for Duke Energy’s recognition of that need and continued support of educational programs in our district. We also appreciate the Duke Energy Foundation’s willingness to work with us to adjust the Bookmobile program due to COVID-19.”
“The pandemic has created challenges for students, parents and teachers across South Carolina,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “Darlington County School District quickly adapted to the challenge of building literacy skills while keeping the safety of their students and staff a top priority, and we are happy we could support these efforts.”
Studies have consistently shown that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts their future academic growth and job attainment, according to Marisa Johnson, DCSD’s Arts and Innovative Programs coordinator. When children are surrounded by books, they build vocabulary, increase awareness and comprehension, and expand their horizons, all of which are benefits in adulthood, Johnson said.