More than 250 Horry County elementary and middle school students and 116 Coastal Carolina University undergraduates gathered at Brookgreen Gardens on Sept. 29 to participate in the official recognition of the establishment of the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program at Coastal.
The Floyd family recently made a $250,000 gift to Coastal to expand the university's mentoring program and provide a statewide model for such programs.
Floyd, a Surfside Beach attorney, served on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education from 1996 to 2005. While he was chairman of the commission he championed the "mentoring" concept and was instrumental in starting the pilot mentoring program at Coastal in 2003.
Coastal initiated the program three years ago, pairing university students with children from area public schools. The program aims to improve South Carolina's low high school graduation rate by connecting college students with children who may benefit from some extra encouragement. During the fall 2006 semester, more than 300 Coastal students are serving as mentors to fourth- and eighth-graders in 25 Horry County elementary and middle schools. Coastal's board of trustees recently voted to expand the mentoring program, making it a cornerstone of the university experience. The board's action indicates the institution's commitment to the program, and the Floyd gift will facilitate this initiative.
The mentoring program is named for Floyd, his wife Linda, and children Terry Norwood, Blake, Brad and Ford.