With a generous gift from Cigna insurance and in collaboration with Richland Library and the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation, Mayor Benjamin created the Books 2 Boys and Books 2 Girls programs for our city’s youth.  Since the launch of the initiative in September 2016, the program has provided more than 300 boys and girls with more than 1,600 books and the gift of literacy. Children who read at grade level are four times more likely to graduate by age 19 than children who don’t read proficiently by that time. If poverty is added to the equation, a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time. 
Mayor Benjamin firmly believes all children should have access to and plenty of books to read. Through Books 2 Boys and Books 2 Girls, our city is able to play its part in providing such a necessary gift to our children.