The city of Rock Hill, Rock Hill schools, York County Library and community organizations are teaming up to fight brain drain this summer through cooperative reading programs, under the new title, Rock Hill Reads.
At a news conference announcing the new initiative Monday, Rock Hill schools Superintendent Lynn Moody said that students who dont read over the summer can lose as much as half a year of educational progress. She also said that students who cant read on grade level by the third grade are twice as likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives.
Mayor Doug Echols said this initiative stemmed from a shared interest in improving the community of Rock Hill.
I think this demonstrates a wonderful partnership, Echols said. We can all be a part of this effort.
The city of Rock Hill will support the summer reading initiative by including reading tips in the information it sends to approximately 750 city employees and in the city newsletter, which Echols said is sent to 39,000 homes. City employees will participate in a book drive, and the citys Housing and Neighborhood Services will donate books to children at the annual National Night Out event Aug. 6.
In the school district, for the first time, all 17 elementary schools have individual summer reading programs. Moody said each school designed their own program.
Other community organizations, such as Cheer for Children, the United Way and the Early Learning Partnership, are also collaborators on Rock Hill Reads.
Moody said the goal for the city is to get every citizen to read for at least 20 minutes every day.
Colleen Kaphengst, executive director of the York County Library, said what people read doesnt matter, as long as they are reading and their children can see them reading.
We want to encourage reading to be a family activity, Kaphengst said.
Rock Hill chiropractor Winslow Shock, founder of Cheer for Children, was involved in creating this collaboration and said he was stoked about the new initiative.
Simply stated, Rock Hill reads, and after you read, reading rocks, he said.
After Mondays news conference, Moody, Echols and childrens librarian Diane Williams read books to children from the Freedom Montessori School.
VIDEO: Moody reads to children
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072