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Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation for Reading & Civic Engagement Book Drive
6/3/2016 2:21:56 PM

Cynthia Graham Hurd (top, second from the right) and family
The family of Cynthia Graham Hurd – one of the Mother Emanuel Nine killed during a church service last June – announced last month the formation of the foundation that will honor how Cynthia lived.

The Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation for Reading & Civic Engagement will work to increase literacy and spread a passion for reading throughout Cynthia’s hometown of Charleston, where she worked for 31 years for the Charleston County Public Library.

“Cynthia loved reading and sharing literature with people of all ages. Helping children become lifelong readers and adults to discover or rediscover the joy of books is exactly how my sister would want us all to honor her,” says Malcolm Graham, president and CEO of the Foundation. “This is about celebrating who Cynthia was in life. This is how we turn our grief into action that benefits the community.”

The Foundation’s Board is made up of Cynthia’s brothers and sister: Malcolm Graham, Melvin Graham, Averill “Jackie” Graham Jones, Robert Moultrie and Gilbert Moultrie. The Foundation’s mission to increase literacy starts now.

Also in May, the Foundation announced its first initiative: an aggressive, two-city, book drive throughout the month of June – Cynthia’s birth month. The Foundation is joining forces with Reading Partners, a national non-profit organization; Live5 WCSC-TV, WBTV Charlotte and Charleston County Public Library to get more books into under-resourced elementary schools and pre-schools in the Charleston and Charlotte areas. Charlotte was dear to Cynthia’s heart as it’s the city where her brother Malcolm has lived for more than 30 years.

There is a great need to get books into children’s hands across the Carolinas. Today in South Carolina, eight out of 10 fourth graders from low-income families cannot read at grade level, according to Reading Partners. And only 40 percent of third graders in Charlotte’s Mecklenburg county are reading on grade level.

The book drive is a month-long promotion to collect new and gently used children’s books in the Charleston, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C. communities 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.

Charleston book drop-off locations – all branches of Charleston County Public Library:
  •  Dorchester Road Regional Library – 6325 Dorchester Road, 843-552-6466
  •  Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library – 1735 N. Woodmere Drive, 843-766-2546
  •  John’s Island Regional Library – 3531 Maybank Highway, 843-559-1945
  •  Main Library – 68 Calhoun Street, downtown, 843-805-6930
  •  Mt. Pleasant Regional Library – 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161
  •  Otranto Road Regional Library – 2261 Otranto Road, 843-572-4094

Charlotte book drop-off locations:
  •  WBTV Charlotte – 1 Julian Price Place, 704-374-3500
  •  Joseph W Grier Academy – 8330 Grier Road, 980-343-5671
  •  Oakdale Elementary – 1825 Oakdale Road, 980-343-6076
  •  Stoney Creek Elementary1 – 4015 Mallard Roost Road, 980-344-1030
  •  Sugar Creek Charter School – 4101 North Tryon Street, 704-509-5470


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