read, bond, grow.

“Today a reader, tommorow a leader.”

– Margaret Fuller

read, bond, grow.

“Today a reader, tommorow a leader.”

– Margaret Fuller



Young children in York County enter school ready to learn.


ELP mobilizes people, leverages resources, and empowers social, emotional and early literacy programs that help prepare children, birth to age 5, for school success.


Reading with a preschool child is the single most important activity to prepare a child for school.

35% of children arrive at kindergarten unprepared to learn (11% for York County).

The most critical predictor of eventual high school graduation and career success is a child’s reading proficiency by the third grade; however, 80% of children living below the poverty line do not develop this proficiency.

One of the factors taken into consideration for building new prisons is based in part on the number of second graders not reading at second grade level.

Low literacy is the socioeconomic factor prison inmates have most in common.

Studies show that children entering kindergarten may have as much of a vocabulary gap as eight years. That is because a child who has not been read aloud to may have limited vocabulary of a two-year-old, while a child who has been read aloud to every day may have the vocabulary of a 10-year-old.

The average middle-income child has 100 hours of being read aloud to as compared to 25 hours for low-income children.

40% of America’s fourth graders read below the basic level on national reading assessments.

Academic failure in late elementary school results in increased risk for substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school dropout and violence.

Our History

The Early Learning Partnership of York County (ELP) was established in 1998 as a United Way initiative called Success By 6. South Carolina ranked 48th in overall child well-being and like many children in our state, York County’s children entered school unprepared to learn. Our children lacked an environment necessary to promote healthy development and basic foundational skills for learning and the potential for a successful academic career. Literacy programs such as Born to Read, Reach Out and Read and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library were established. Four Family Resource Centers were created in 2002 to serve children within each of the four York County school districts (Clover, Fort Mill, Rock Hill, and York). Beginning in the fall of 2003, a Free Medical Clinic for uninsured children began opening in these centers and operating on a daily rotating schedule. The United Way and Success By 6 decided that the programs now administered by ELP would be better managed by an independent corporation with its own board and decision making authority. To that end, ELP was spun off with its own nonprofit status in 2005.

ELP has a staff of one full-time Executive Director, one part-time Program Coordinator, one Winthrop student intern, and a Board of Directors with approximately 20 members which represent the geographic areas of all four school districts in York County. In July 2015, ELP transferred the fiscal and managerial duties of the Free Medical Clinic over to Affinity Health Center through a two-year collaborative effort. In 2015, ELP worked through the strategic planning process to better define our identity, branding, and work in York County.

Join us as we work together to help our youngest citizens Read. Bond. Grow.


Approximate numbers served in 2015-16:

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