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Colonial Life invests $60,000 to support childhood literacy in the Midlands

Columbia, SC (August 25, 2020) – Colonial Life has made a $60,000 corporate gift to the Midlands Reading Consortium at United Way of the Midlands to support local early childhood literacy efforts.

“Colonial Life sees investment in literacy as an investment in our community,” said Bill Harmon, Colonial Life Assistant Vice President, Underwriting and MRC reading tutor. “It provides equity and opportunity for students across the spectrum, particularly those at higher risk for low reading proficiency. It also creates pathways to successful outcomes and builds healthier communities.” 
According to Marie McGehee, director of corporate social responsibility for Colonial Life, supporting MRC is a great fit for their CSR approach to building strong and sustainable communities, individuals and families. By aligning financial and human resources with MRC, they’re able to maximize impact and help shape future generations.
United Way’s Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) is a volunteer tutoring initiative aimed at improving reading engagement for elementary students, pre-kindergarten to 2nd grade, in school districts across Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield and Orangeburg counties. MRC addresses low reading proficiency in our community schools by supplementing and enhancing shared reading experiences between volunteer tutors and their striving readers. MRC provides free training workshops, tutoring materials, and the support needed to help volunteer tutors work with their students on a weekly basis throughout the school year.
MRC also works to enhance and supplement a love of reading for elementary school students throughout the Midlands by providing a library of services that include tutoring, guest reading opportunities, parent engagement events and book distributions.
"We are grateful for companies like Colonial Life who invest in our children and community,” said Sara Fawcett, United Way of Midlands President and CEO. “Their donation allows us the opportunity to provide books, teaching support and training to schools through the Midlands Reading Consortium which will have a positive impact on our community.”
Last year, MRC served almost 700 students in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield and Orangeburg counties with the help of more than 400 volunteers. 
Volunteer opportunities are available to those interested in participating in MRC for the 2020-2021 school year. 
Watch a short video about Midlands Reading Consortium and the impact it makes in the community. 
“Just 30 minutes a week can be the difference between whether a child advances to the next grade or even graduates on time from high school,” Fawcett said. “Now more than ever, we need your help to engage local elementary students in fun, interactive reading sessions to ignite a love of reading and close the achievement gap."
Volunteers will kick off the school year with virtual tutoring. It can be done in the comfort of your home or during your lunch break at work. For more information, including a list of participating schools, visit

About Colonial Life
Colonial Life offers critical support to America’s workers and their families when the unexpected happens. The company is a market leader in benefits education and delivery, innovative enrollment technology and customer experience. Colonial Life provides disability, life, accident, critical illness, cancer, dental and vision benefits that protect millions of customers and their families. For more information, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Colonial Life is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.
About United Way of the Midlands
United Way of the Midlands is the most organized, efficient and accountable system for investing in the community. With more than 70 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations. For more information, please visit

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