Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - A summer program is trying to help students develop a love for reading.

Claflin University is hosting a Freedom Schools Program.

“They actually get to see that book come alive,” Program Director Nathan Chaplin explained. “The program tried to cater to the whole student.”

Chaplin says the program teaches kids to enjoy reading and builds their confidence as they sharpen their English and STEM skills.

"Just watching our students develop that confidence,” Chaplin said of his favorite part of the program.

Claflin's been hosting the program for six years but it roots go back to 1964, when poverty prevented some students from a good education. The national program is still modeled today after those civil rights-era programs that educated hundreds of thousands of African-Americans in the South.

Last year, 91 percent of the students in the program maintained or increased their reading level.