BY DIETTE COURRÉGÉ CASEY

dcourrege@postandcourier.com

Any child under the age of 5 who lives in the downtown 29403 and 29409 zip codes can register for a free book each month.

Begin With Books is Charleston County’s affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides the free books to any child who lives in the following zip codes: 29403 (downtown), 29409 (downtown), 29426 (Adams Run), 29429 (Awendaw), 29438 (Edisto), 29449 (Hollywood and Meggett), 29455-57 (Johns Island), 29458 (McClellanville), 29470 (Ravenel), and 29487 (Wadmalaw Island).

The nonprofit received a $30,000 challenge grant earlier this year that required it to raise $34,000 to be able to provide the free books to downtown children. The group recently exceeded that $64,000 fundraising goal, which is enough to provide 23,000 books to children during the next two years.

“We intend to continue fundraising and keep the program going indefinitely,” said Patty Bennett-Uffelman, who co-founded the local group. “We’re feeling thrilled and scared and overwhelmed. It’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to it.”

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier, and get the latest education news by following @Diette on Twitter or go to www.facebook.com/diettecourrege.