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Turn “Can’t” Into “Can”: Horry County Literacy Council

By offering free, confidential, individualized, private, successful tutoring and literacy support for students and adults in Horry County, this non-profit has been a vital resource for the community since 1976. The mission of the Horry County Literacy Council (HCLC) is to improve the lives of youth, adults, and families by teaching basic literacy and life skills for economic and social success. The students are diversified in their needs and the HCLC is constantly trying to develop a protocol to address individuals seeking special assistance.

On top of offering several programs to address dyslexia, adult illiteracy, English as a Second Language, GED preparation, and literacy support, the HCLC also offers a unique Read and Create Program, which levels the “reading” playing field for participants. As a group, they read a story, discuss some of the literary elements of the story, and then create an art project that the children can take home. The most amazing part of the program is getting to see the creativity of the students. Despite reading the book together, every art project turns out to be one of a kind, based upon what each child dreams up. The HCLC showcases the artwork on its Facebook page after each event (www.facebook.com/literacy4horry).

The requests for literacy support consistently increase. To be successful, they are always looking for local volunteers to join who are open minded, flexible, and enthusiastic. Volunteers are paired with a student after the HCLC trains them. This organization also works with rec centers, YMCA programs, libraries, the Chamber of Commerce, Together SC, and ProLiteracy, a national organization that addresses literacy. The HCLC makes a point to never give up on an individual – if they are faced with a situation where they are unable to help someone, they collaborate with their partners to find a solution for that individual.

The HCLC’s three sources of funding are grants, private donations, and fundraising. Their signature fundraiser is the annual Murder Mystery Gala, which will take place at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club on Saturday, February 4, 2023. This event features a silent auction, raffles, and a wonderful production performed by Carolina Forest High School’s Theatre. According to Executive Director Cheryl Mathieu, “I enjoy the process of connecting dots and bringing people together to solve problems. Our students are the reason for our existence, and our volunteers are the core to their success.”

Please consider donating, supporting, and volunteering so you can make a difference in your local community by visiting www.horrycountyliteracy.org.

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