Published on December 5th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


District Five parent group launches ‘Reading Heroes Project,’ asks others to give the gift of reading

Pictured: Harbison West Elementary’s School Improvement Council (SIC) has launched a new Reading Heroes Project to provide every student in the school with three books to take home at the end of the school year.

IRMO – A parent group at one Lexington-Richland District Five school hopes to provide books for all its students as part of an effort to promote reading and prevent summer slide.

Harbison West Elementary’s School Improvement Council (SIC) has launched its Reading Heroes Project this holiday season. The group hopes that parents and community members will donate at least $15, and give “the gift of reading” to a student at the school. Each donor will receive an ornament to display at the school during the holiday season. Donations for the project will be collected through the spring.

“We know that many fourth grade students in the U.S. don’t achieve basic levels of reading proficiency and that achievement loss during the summer is equal to about one month of instruction. We also know we can do something about this,” said Bunnie Ward, Harbison West Elementary School SIC chair. “We wanted to officially launch this reading project during the holidays to remind parents and community members that the gift of reading lasts a lifetime. With the support of others, we can provide every student in the school with three books to take home at the end of the school year.”

Parents with the means are asked to give $15 to purchase their own children’s books, and donations will be collected for students in need, Ward said. In the spring, students will attend a special book fair and select from books appropriate for their grade and reading level. Educators say the project will ensure students stay on track academically during the summer.

“At Harbison West Elementary, we work year-round to ensure our students continue the academic success they gained during the school year. This project is a continuation of our efforts to maintain high achievement,” said Arthur Newton, principal of the school. “This wonderful project by our SIC shows the wide parental support we have at our school and our laser focus on reading and instruction.”

Harbison West Elementary SIC member Ava Dean added, “We want every student in our school to have books when they leave this summer. It’s a great way for us to end the school year, and give them the good start they need to be ready next year.”

For more information on the Harbison West Elementary School Reading Heroes Project, visit the school website at Donation forms can be downloaded online, and cash or checks can be collected at the school or mailed to 257 Crossbow Drive, Columbia, SC 29212. Visit to donate online.


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