About Us

We are a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(3)c, volunteer organization. We are literacy advocates, providing 2 hours each week of free tutoring for school-age children to adults who struggle with basic reading, writing, and math.

Our Mission: Literacy

Our mission is to improve the literacy of youth and adults in our community by teaching/tutoring basic literacy skills for those who struggle with reading, writing and math.

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Our Purpose and Vision

Making an impact, through literacy, on our community

Our purpose is to provide free tutoring to school-age children and adults who struggle with reading, writing or math. We will significantly impact the literacy rates in Horry County through volunteers working one-to-one with our clients using strength-based language and evidence-based instructional materials and strategies.

Our vision is to produce higher literacy rates in Horry County and be the center of the community for literacy education and training.

Our Core Values

What is T.E.A.C.H.?

Dodi Hodges

Dodi Hodges

Ph.D., Executive Director/Founder.

Dr. Hodges is an author, educator, & speaker. She was a founding member of Palmetto Literacy Council. She is passionate about children and adults learning to read, write, and do math. Her life and career have centered around those who struggle with learning and finding ways for everyone to learn.

She has been a teacher educator at Coastal Carolina University, Bowling Green State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, & Western Michigan University. Her research has included implementing strategies in reading & mathematics for struggling learners.

Dr. Hodges’ extensive experience includes: tenured Associate Professor at Coastal Carolina University, Director of CeTEAL (faculty development center at CCU), tenure-line faculty member at Bowling Green State University, the Disabilities and Mental Health Coordinator a county Head Start program, a consultant for the Michigan Head Start Association, a special educator for children with behavioral and emotional issues, and a corporate trainer.

Dr. Hodges earned her Master’s degree and Ph.D. at Indiana University-Bloomington focusing on organizational change through collaboration/teaming, leadership, & curriculum & instruction.

literacy advocate Preston McKever Floyd

Preston McKever-Floyd

Ph.D., Chair of the Board of Directors

Preston L. McKever-Floyd is the Founder and C.E.O. of the Dr. Preston L. McKever-Floyd Youth Sports Academy in Monrovia, Liberia. This sports academy is incorporated with the Liberian government as an International Non-Governmental Organization. The priority of the academy is the education of the youth of Liberia, using soccer as a vehicle for teaching life and leadership skills. At this point, the academy is an after-school, weekend, and summer program. Our goal is to become a fully functioning educational facility serving Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade.

In December 2015, Dr. McKever-Floyd retired after thirty-five years as a Professor and two years as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC. During his tenure, he co-founded the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. He also was a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in the field of African-American Literature and the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, African-American Literature, and Religious Studies.

Preston McKever-Floyd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Virginia State University, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, an ABD in Religion and Literature from Emory University and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in Philosophy from the University of South Carolina.

plc 2021028 Polly Putorti

Polly Putorti

Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors

Polly Putorti and her husband recently retired to Conway. She taught elementary school in Connecticut for 33 years, most of those years in Kindergarten. In Connecticut, she was also involved in church committees, school committees, and community committees. In her free time, Polly loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family and friends. She is enjoying her time immensely being involved with Palmetto Literacy Council.

Luiisa Soto

Luisa Soto

Treasurer

Luisa Soto is a VP. Preferred Banking Market Leader at Bank of America. Luisa serves as the steward for the preferred strategy within our local financial centers in the Myrtle Beach Coastal area. Luisa is responsible for the responsible growth of each financial center, Operational Excellence, and strong Client Care culture. Luisa is also responsible for ensuring teammates are continuously growing within their roles and reaching their career goals and aspirations.

Luisa’s career with Bank of America started at a young age, fresh out of high school as a Part-time teller back in 2007. She has been extremely focused on her career growth and development and that focus has led her to have many leadership opportunities within the Financial Center roles.  Luisa holds a master’s in business management from St. John Fisher College in Rochester NY.

Luisa’s passion is in helping others reach their highest potential and achieve what’s possible. Luisa is very committed to the local community via Better Money Habits opportunities, financial literacy and overall community involvement.

Luisa is bilingual and proudly of Hispanic heritage from the Dominican Republic. She is a mother of three, Wilson, Alejandro and Catalina. She enjoys her time off traveling, meeting new people, and learning about new cultures. She loves and enjoys the beach and lake life which led her to move from Upstate NY to North Myrtle Beach SC on September 2021.

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Bonnie Kelley

Member-at-Large

Bonnie Johnson Kelley is a native of South Carolina. Bonnie recently retired as a registered nurse serving our veterans for over 35 years at the VA Medical Center. She and her husband of 44 years enjoy traveling around the world. Bonnie takes great pleasure in tutoring for Palmetto Literacy and in sharing her love of reading.

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Adrianna Edwards

Student Representative

Biography coming soon

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Etta Carter

Member-at-Large

Etta Greene Carter is a native of Murrells Inlet, SC and currently resides in the Finklea Community of Horry County. She currently serves as HCS Adult Education Director and board member on several nonprofits and Waccamaw Workforce Board.

Kim Reischling

Kim Reischling

Secretary, Co-Newsletter Editor, Co-Volunteer Liaison at Socastee Library, Tutor

Kim worked at the Fort Polk, Louisiana, Public Affairs Office for 23 years where she did a variety of writing for press releases, regional newspapers, and command speeches. In July 2022 she retired and relocated to Murrells Inlet.  She enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren, reading and writing.

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Sue Walters

Member-At-Large, Fundraising Committee Chair, Tutor

Susan “Sue” Walters, with her husband and two sons, relocated to Myrtle Beach from Long Island, New York, in 2012.  Prior to her move, Sue was employed for over forty years in various administrative/secretarial positions.

Susan has always been involved in school and community service. She was President of the Friends of the Arts Booster Club for three years in her sons’ school district in Long Island, New York.

Since moving to the Grand Strand, Susan served for two years as Membership Chairperson for the Carolina Forest High School Sports Booster and has tutored with the Palmetto Literacy Council for the past two years.

Veronica DeCiccio

Veronica DeCicco

Member-At-Large, Screening Coordinator, Volunteer Liaison at Chapin Library

Veronica DeCicco joins Palmetto Literacy Council after serving as principal at Merrimac Elementary School for the last 12 years, Merrimac, New York. Her school has been a Franklin Covey Leader in Me school for 11 years and a Lighthouse School since 2014. She has been in the education field for the past 33 years in many different capacities: taught first, second, third and fifth grade, a reading specialist, Reading Recovery teacher, a middle school principal, a special education director at the district level and a districtwide staff developer in the areas of literacy and mathematics instruction. Currently, she is a consultant/coach for Franklin Covey in the education field.

She enjoys volunteering for Palmetto Literacy Council as the Screening Coordinator, former Tutor, and Chapin Library Liaison. She also screens new entrants for placement in the program in literacy and mathematics.

Veronica is married to her husband Gil and has two children, Christopher, and Alexandra. She has relocated from Long Island, New York to South Carolina. She enjoys reading and traveling.

Bill Woodward

Bill Woodward

Newsletter Co-Editor

Bill is a photographer, and is retired from a local company that produced golf and tourism magazines, websites, and a cable-access golf TV channel. We are so excited to have him join the team! You’ll see Bill with camera in hand at the June 24 Golf Scramble!

Sarah Wamsley

Sarah Wamsley

Intern

Sarah Wamsley is senior at Coastal Carolina University, majoring in Hispanic Studies. She started the internship at Palmetto Literacy Council in January 2024. As an intern at Palmetto Literacy Council, she combines language skills with a passion for helping learning English as a second language.

Stephanie Southworth

Stephanie Southworth

Member-at-Large, Fundraising/Events Co-Chair, Giving Tuesday

Stephanie Southworth, PhD is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology at Coastal Carolina University. She studies racial and socioeconomic stratification. Stephanie lives in Myrtle Beach with her cat and two dogs. She has two grown children who live in Charlotte, NC.

literacy advocate Jeanne Bogart

Jeanne Bogart

Jeanne Bogart is a retired Middle School Educator. She taught Math, Science and Reading in Baltimore County, Maryland. While teaching in Baltimore County, she was recognized as a Teacher of the Year on two separate occasions. She also served as a Trainer in the “Teachers Teaching Teachers” Program, was a New Teacher Mentor, and was actively involved in the Outdoor Education Program (teaching students to appreciate the outdoors and the environment) and the “JASON PROJECT” at the National Geographic. During the Summers, she was an educator in the Living Classrooms Program (taking students for week-long stays on a skipjack to seed oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay), a Teacher Educator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and at the Baltimore Zoo.

Jeanne received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, NY and her Master’s Degree in Education and Curriculum from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD.

Jeanne is one of the founding members of the Palmetto Literacy Council. Her involvement in the Council stems from her love of reading and her desire to see students succeed. She believes that all students can succeed, they just need to connect with the right teacher using the right tools.

Denise Steglich McLean​

Denise Steglich McLean

Denise McLean is the administrative assistant/paralegal with the South Carolina Supreme Court, office of Justice Kaye G. Hearn.  She has been employed by the Supreme Court for eleven years. Throughout most of her career, Denise has been employed by the South Carolina Judicial Branch.  Prior to joining the staff of Justice Kaye Hearn, she was employed by the South Carolina Court of Appeals, where she held a paralegal position while working for Judge Jasper Cureton for fifteen years.  Denise has held positions in various law firms in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Denise received her Associates Degree from Queensborough Community College in Queens, NY, and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Queens College in Queens, NY.  She earned her Paralegal Degree from Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC.

Denise McLean enjoys traveling (domestic and international), cycling and cooking.

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Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes is a CPA who joined the Palmetto Literacy Council in 2019 as a founding Board Member. He currently is employed as a CPA at the firm of King and Godbold, where he provides tax advice and financial services to a wide range of clients.

As a native of a small town in Northern Arkansas, Jimmy earned two B.S. degrees from Arkansas Tech University in 2000 and 2002, respectively. After a short time working at a small accounting practice, he went back to school and earned a Masters of Accountancy Degree from the University of Arkansas in 2016. 

Jimmy enjoys sports, traveling, and spending time with his wife.

Angela-Chapman

Angela Chapman

Soon to be…

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