Wells Fargo on Tuesday joined a United Way of the Lowcountry campaign to reduce high school dropout rates in Beaufort and Jasper counties by 50 percent in 2022.
The bank donated $3,500 to the United Way's Early Grade Reading initiative that puts volunteer tutors in eight area elementary schools to boost reading skills. About 200 tutors have helped hundreds of kindergarten through third-grade students learn to read this school year, according to the United Way.
"The first step in achieving on-time high school graduation is to ensure that students are reading on grade level by the time they enter fourth grade," according to a United Way news release. "Research shows that in the first few years of school, children are learning to read; after fourth grade, though, they read to learn."
OC Welch Ford Lincoln, Bi-Lo Stores, and the Hilton Head Rotary Club have also made recent grants to fund the effort.
"Without strong reading skills, students are more likely to fall behind, disengage and drop out," Tina Gentry, CEO of United Way of the Lowcountry, said in the news release.
For more information or to volunteer as a reading tutor, call United Way of the Lowcountry at 843-982-3040.