By Gregory Woods firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH CHARLESTON, S. C (WCIV) -- When it comes to kids, many prefer to play video games rather than read books.
But Reading Partners, a national organization that took over the local Book Buddies program, is working to make kids choose books.
The program has a 90% success rate in helping kids better their reading skills and keeping them from falling behind.
The program is operated in eight Title I schools in Charleston County.
Relston Sanders is a 5th grader at Mary Ford Elementary School is one year behind in reading.
But that hasn't kept the 10 year old from having big dreams.
"I want to be in the military to help my country, so our country can be safe," he said.
The future serviceman knows how important reading skills are to being successful in the Navy.
His tutor, Jesse Hudson, is determined to keep Sanders from falling further behind.
"By the end of the program he is going to be on top," Hudson said. "Because he is reading well, he is comprehending well and he takes his books home and reads his books and comes back to share with me what he read."
Louis Kohlheim, the board chair for Reading Partners Charleston, said she hopes the program will soon include all 17 of the district's high-poverty elementary schools.
"We are striving for the curriculum to be an accelerated rate of learning," she said. "So for every one month of being in school they have a 1.6 or one in a half month of learning."
What makes the program different from others, is every volunteer is trained and measures progress through internal and standardized tests.
Once a child is paired with a volunteer, the two stay together throughout the program.
You can learn more about the program here.