First Book-Horry County awards 4 new grants to serve children

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Four grants have been issued to serve children who might not otherwise receive new books.

First Book-Horry County announced the distribution of four grants totaling more than $8,300 to local programs that serve 1,300 children.

Programs receiving grants include the Freedom Readers of Horry County, Green Sea Floyds Elementary School, Kids Hope USA of St. Stephens Episcopal Church (a mentoring program serving children at Loris Elementary School) and South Conway Elementary School. First Book volunteers will celebrate books and reading with each group over the next few months.

Grant recipients can now access their account on First Book's Marketplace at Beneficiaries will find an array of interesting and relevant books to purchase for the children they serve. Children will also receive books enabling them to start their own home libraries to share with their siblings and families. They will also receive a bookplate on which to place their names, celebrating the importance of book ownership. First Book works nationally with children's book publishers to increase the diversity of cultures represented in children's books.

According to a 2013 Kids Count report, almost 18,000 children in Horry County are living in households of poverty. First Book-Horry County will continue its fundraising efforts in 2014 with a Fall Author's Luncheon featuring journalist and author Cokie Roberts on Oct. 25. For reservations, call Margene Willis at 843-333-4056 or Mona Prufer at 843-349-2087.

Additional local literacy programs that have received book grants and thousands of books from First Book-Horry County in the past include Loris Middle School, Grand Strand Boys & Girls Club, Cedar Branch Community Center and Socastee Elementary School. Since its first grant in 2000, First Book-Horry County has awarded more than $116,000 in grants to organizations serving more than 5,800 children.

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