Million Book Effort: A God-size DreamIn June, 2014, the South Carolina United Methodist Conference envisioned a God-size dream called the “Million Book Effort.” The purpose was to raise awareness about the needs of public education by collecting books for preschool and elementary aged children. With the efforts of churches within the conference, over 500,000 books were collected. The Pan-Methodist Children in Poverty Task Force, along with many others distributed the books within nine months to local schools, churches, community libraries, child care centers, and non-profits who work directly with children. At the same time, many churches gave monetary offerings for the purpose of supporting underfunded public school libraries in South Carolina. The amount was over $22,000.00 and the God-size dream lived on!
The Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty Task Force contacted the office of the State Superintendent of Education to assist in identifying schools to receive these funds. The office identified three schools based on their reading scores, state and federal priority lists, and amount of state and federal funding they currently received. Three schools were contacted that they had been selected to receive $7665.28 to be used for books and their media centers. The principals were speechless when told of the gift. Each school is nestled in rural South Carolina with 98% of the children on free and reduced lunches.
In November, 2015, Bishop Jonathan Holston, resident Bishop of South Carolina, Rev. Kathy James, Director of Connectional Ministries, Mrs. Martha F. Thompson, Pan-Methodist Liason for Children in Poverty, and Mr. Matt Brodie, Director of Communications for the South Carolina Annual Conference delivered the checks……….maybe, just maybe it was a God-size dream that had come true.
Martha F. Thompson, South Carolina, Campaign Liaison