The Augustine Literacy Project in Upstate South Carolina


The mission of the Augustine Literacy Project is to improve the reading, writing and spelling abilities of low-income children and teens who struggle with literacy skills. The project trains and supports volunteer tutors who provide free, long term, 1-to-1 instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach and Wilson Reading System® materials.

Orton-Gillingham is a structured, multisensory, phonetic teaching approach that has been proven to work with those who have language related learning difficulties. Augustine tutors use Wilson® materials and lessons include the five essential components of research-based reading instruction as defined by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Watch an interview with Debbie McCarthy, Augustine Literacy Project National Director.

2014 Ice Cream Social & amp; Awards Day

This is my first year being a part of the program and both of my students have shown tremendous progress with their reading.
— Mrs. Rebecca Hancock, Third Grade Teacher

Who We Serve

We serve low-income children who are reading, writing and spelling below grade level in the Upstate area. The students we teach are recommended by parents, teachers, instructional coaches, and other staff members in local schools. The two eligibility requirements for Augustine tutoring are 1) low income — qualifying for free or reduced price lunch, and 2) below grade level performance in reading, writing or spelling.

Because reading, writing and spelling difficulties can result in poor school performance and low self-esteem, families who are financially able send their children with language related learning differences to special schools or hire private tutors. The Augustine Literacy Project is committed to providing caring, professionally trained tutors for those whose families cannot afford to pay. The combination of nurture and knowledge that an Augustine tutor offers can mean the difference between prison and productivity for an at-risk student.

Upstate South Carolina Replication

Maxine representing Augustine at the 2010 RPC Missions & Mercy Conference

The Augustine Literacy Project in Upstate SC was started in 2006 under the leadership of Maxine Bennett as a replication of The Augustine Project of North Carolina. Staggering statistics show that poor literacy impacts society on several levels. You can help change a child's life and your own by investing in The Augustine Literacy Project Upstate through donation or learning to tutor. Donations help pay for materials and provide some scholarship funds for tutor training.

I like this kind of learning.
— middle school student with an Augustine tutor

Tutoring gives the personal opportunity for you to have one-to-one interaction with a child who may otherwise be left hopelessly lacking in basic skills that lead to a successful life. We are happy to answer any questions about Augustine — simply contact us via e-mail or phone.

We know this works.
— Instructional Coach,
Greenville County Schools

Upstate South Carolina Board

Maxine Bennett, Director

Patricia Riordan, Chairman

Ann Copeland, Vice-Chairman

Mary Anne Inglis, Secretary

Terri Koontz, Treasurer

Becky Lauder


The Augustine Project in Upstate SC