The Program

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

I-Beam is a literacy and mentoring program that pairs a 1st-5th grade student who needs additional support in reading and/or social skills with an adult.  From October through April on the same day and at the same time each week, the mentor comes to school for one hour to read and many share lunch with the student.  Together they build a caring relationship while practicing reading and improving life skills that will positively impact their future. 

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

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.