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“One out of every five children in East Cooper elementary schools is at risk for falling behind in reading … “

What is I-Beam?

I-Beam is a lunchtime literacy program that connects students during the school year (2nd thru 5th grade) who are struggling with reading, social skills, or both with an adult.  On the same day each week, the student will spend one hour reading, lunching and sharing to promote the love and the skills of reading and engage in a consistent relationship. Mentoring occurs usually around lunchtime between October and the end of April.   

One Student, One Adult, One Hour, Once a Week.

Fast Facts about I-Beam

    • I-Beam was launched at Jennie Moore Elementary School in January of 2011.
    • Volunteers were recruited by Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church and Greater Goodwill AME Church.
    • All identified second-graders and select third graders were paired with volunteers.

Why Learning to Read by Third Grade Matters…..

Most schools in the East Zone of the Charleston County School District are award-winning schools. And most of us who live here enjoy a lifestyle that obscures the fact that 20% of our kids live in families facing economic hardship. For some, money problems are the result of a tough economy or a temporary crisis. But for many, poverty is a way of life; a life that can make it hard to do well in school. Consider these national research findings:

  • “Children in poverty typically enter kindergarten two years behind their peers.”
  • “A child in poverty is twice as likely to repeat a grade and is three times as likely to be expelled or drop out of school.”
  • “Low third grade reading scores are a reliable predictor of future prison space requirements, graduation rates, poverty level incomes and teen pregnancy rates.”

The Local Impact

• Language arts testing in East Cooper elementary schools shows that on average, 25% of low-income students are reading below grade level compared < 3% for the general population.

• 33% of low-income Wando High School seniors did not graduate on time, compared to 11% for the general population.

Why be an I-Beam Mentor….Click Me

 I-Beam Mentor Resources 


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