Charleston Volunteers for Literacy is a community initiative to mobilize a force of volunteers to provide literacy support to elementary school children in the Charleston County School District.  The concept is simple — the ability to read is a necessary skill to do well in school — so let’s ensure that every first grade student can read proficiently, and then let’s ensure that they stay interested in reading as they progress through elementary school.

Our focus:

  • Children from low-income communities where the need is greatest.
  • Partner with high-need elementary schools to offer free services on the school campus.
  • Implement proven, researched-based programs which provide individualized instruction and measurable results of reading progress
  • Recruit and train community volunteers to work with children.
  • Provide a way for volunteers to give a small amount of their time to make a huge difference in a child’s life.

History & Vision

Charleston Volunteers for Literacy was founded in partnership with the Coastal Community Foundation in January of 2008.  Its research into successful volunteer-based literacy programs around the country identified the Charlottesville, VA Book Buddies program for 1st and 2nd graders to replicate in Charleston County

This highly successful program has used volunteers to tutor students for 18 years and is based on sound research, best practice, and measured results.  It has been replicated around the country, and forms the basis for Experience Corps volunteer literacy programs in 23 cities.

Overtime, Charleston Volunteers for Literacy aims to expand it's services to struggling students in the 3rd thru 5th grades in order to provide a continuum of support for literacy in the Charleston's Title One elementary schools.