‘Read365’ Is Changing Young Lives One Day And One Book At A Time

Story by VFutrell / February 24, 2019

One in four children in America will grow up unable to read, according to the website ferstreaders.org. Helping students beat the odds and become successful life-long readers is the goal of “Read365,” a new reading enrichment program created by the Charleston nonprofit Meeting Street Schools. Read365 works to increase the literacy skills of fourth and fifth graders by providing students the opportunity to read and analyze literature with adult volunteers.

Meeting Street Schools is dedicated to providing under-resourced students with the opportunity to receive a first-rate education. Since its inception in the summer of 2018 at the Meeting Street Schools’ Brentwood of Campus, the program has helped over 100 students increase their desire to read every day as well as improve their reading scores.

“The research is meaningful when it comes to the impact reading has on a child’s life,” noted Community Relations Lead at Meeting Street Schools Nikki Opoulos Dickens. “We want this program to not only increase literacy skills, but we also want this to help our students grow and develop their love of reading.”

Read365 encourages children to read daily. Fourth grader Zyien is a prime example of the program’s success. She said, “What I love most about Read365 is that we get to learn new things.”

From high school students to retirees, volunteers meet with their partners once a week for one hour to read, analyze literature, and connect. The Read365 volunteers are more than just reading partners, they are mentors, friends, and positive role models. Daniel Island resident Debbie Perry Clapp has been involved in Read365 since the fall of 2018. Her experience with her young student has been life-changing.

“I’ve been able to bond with an amazing young person who inspires me,” said Clapp. “She is planning for college and will be the first person from her family to go.”

Seventeen-year-old Lauren Yates of Daniel Island feels Read365 gives volunteers the opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life.

“Watching my student’s stumbles and struggles turn into an excitement for learning was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had,” noted Yates. “Observing my student’s progress as we read with one another, watching him slowly start to understand what he is reading, and seeing that light go off in his head was like magic.”

Daniel Island resident David Moehlman started volunteering four months ago and has advice for those who want to volunteer.

“Don’t wait …get involved,” he said. “It’s once a week for an hour and really does help to make a difference. You may not think that you’re having an impact at first but just being there as a support mechanism is vital to these kids.”

There is no previous teaching experience needed to volunteer, just a desire to help students meet their full potential. For more information, check out the Read365 section on the website – www.meetingstreetschools.org or email Nikki Dickens at ndickens@meetingstreetschools.org or Daniel Island resident Elizabeth Coulton at ecoulton@beemok.com.


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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.


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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher

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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent