Public Education Partners’ Make Summer Count program allows students in participating elementary schools to pick out books for summer reading that become part of their home libraries.

Public Education Partners recently received a grant from The Margaret Linder Southern Endowment Fund.

The fund makes annual grant distributions to benefit early childhood education and special education for children and youth as well as the Greenville Humane Society. The fund distributed $300,000 to various organizations. Public Education Partners received $45,000 of the grant.

Margaret Linder Southern, who died in 2012, left an $8.4 million bequest to the Community Foundation to establish the endowment fund. The fund supports Southern’s special interests — children’s education, special needs children, and the humane treatment of animals.

PEP president and CEO Dr. Ansel Sanders said the organization is grateful for the grant. “We are deeply honored, humbled, and motivated by receiving a fund grant from the Community Foundation,” Sanders said. “Because of Mrs. Southern’s passion for children and education, we are now able to better serve thousands of elementary students across Greenville County through Make Summer Count, a now proven model that combats the summer reading slide.”

Sanders also recently received the Xanthene Norris Education Excellence Award at the Urban League Annual Equal Opportunity Dinner Awards Gala.

“To receive this recognition from the Urban League, named for a transformational, admired Greenville leader and educator, Ms. Xanthene Norris, is humbling and inspiring!” Sanders said. “It is also a testament to the critical work of Public Education Partners, and of our great team and board, to strengthen Greenville’s public schools through fostering innovation and deepening connections between our community and our schools.”

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