Call Me MISTER representatives receive the Literacy Leaders Award.

Call Me MISTER representatives receive the Literacy Leaders Award.

Clemson University’s Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) program received a Literacy Leaders Award from the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science at a recent ceremony in Columbia.

The awards are given annually to individuals or groups making a statewide impact on the literacy in South Carolina.

Call Me MISTER was honored for developing innovative approaches to and best practices in literacy education, providing services to underserved groups and communities, and supporting literacy programs.

Call Me MISTER works to increase the number of available teachers from a broader more diverse background, especially among the state’s lowest performing elementary schools. The program began at Clemson University in 2000 with a goal of placing more male African-American elementary teachers from diverse cultures and backgrounds in the classroom. Since then, the program has graduated 150 MISTERs who are now teaching in S.C. schools, and has expanded to include 17 other universities and technical colleges in South Carolina as well as programs in seven additional states.

— By Danielle Shuff, MAPC ’16