Every year, donors to the Kiawah Cares Foundation (KCF) fund important initiatives on the Sea Islands, such as educational trips for students and much needed items for seniors. This year, KCF launched its first ever Kiawah Giving Month with the goal of raising $48,000 to fully fund literacy programs on the Sea Islands, an on-going focal point for Kiawah Cares.
The Post and Courier recently pointed out that Charleston County School District (CCSD) is cutting funding for literacy programs by $3.4 million in the upcoming budget. These cuts come despite the fact that just 16 percent of black students and 59 percent of white students educated by the CCSD demonstrate grade level proficiency on the ACT Aspire test. It is clear that standard literacy efforts are leaving many kids behind.
Unsurprisingly, our members responded. Gifts totaling $36,431 were made to KCF during the month of May, including generous gifts from the Black family and the BFF Fund. We reached 76 percent of our goal! That’s an amazing gift to literacy.
KCF has helped fund the participation of the three lower grades in Angel Oak’s summer reading and math program, meaning all eligible students, regardless of grade level, will benefit from this groundbreaking effort.
Angel Oak principal, Dr. Michael Griggs, sent his thanks to KCF. “Angel Oak Elementary School would like to express our sincere appreciation for the generous donation from Kiawah Cares to the Summer Reading Program for our children. Because of your contribution, we will be able to stifle summer reading loss, begin closing the achievement gaps, and provide opportunities for our students to excel. Thank you for your support and believing in this endeavor.”
The Begin With Books program has been funded for an entire 12-month period for 855 Sea Island children from birth to age five. KCF’s donation will provide books for 300 of these children. Begin With Books reaches children at the best time to create a foundation for future literacy.
Combating summer reading loss, where literacy gains are lost during the three-month school break, was a focus of immediate importance at this time of year. KCF was also able to fund the distribution of Reading Partners’ summer reading packs for 58 Sea Island students. These packs are filled with age-appropriate books, a reading journal, activity sheets and more.
Literacy is one of the most important aspects of childhood education, one that drastically affects all other aspects of potential learning. We are so grateful to everyone who made a gift to support these important programs and to improve the lives of the young participants. When you make literacy your legacy, everyone wins.