YoArt! Is Teaching Students to Love Technology and Art


YoArt Pic3 YoArt Pic YoArt Pic2

Take a trip down to the main library (68 Calhoun St, Charleston) from May 1 – June 11 for a look at the beautiful art created by local students.

Kiawah Cares annually supports the YoArt! program in Angel Oak Elementary, which teaches students to use technology and make presentations through art.

The Kiawah Island Photography Club host YoArt! students at Night Heron Park annually, helping the students to take beautiful nature shots in the island environment.

YoArt! Coding Course at Frierson and Mt. Zion elementary schools

If you think kids should be learning to use technology as soon as they can, look no further than the Kiawah Cares-sponsored coding classes at Mt. Zion on Johns Island and Frierson on Wadmalaw Island. These elementary students are engaged using HTML and CSS – the basics of web design.

Check out the video below of a class to see how YoArt! brings technology into classrooms.


Kiawah Cares Sponsors Inspirational Movie Viewing for Haut Gap Girls

Photo by Ann Knechtel

Photo by Ann Knechtel.

Kiawah Cares was excited to be able to sponsor 120 Haut Gap students to see the movie Hidden Figures and listen to a talk by Yolonda Zanders-Brown, a Charleston native and local space and naval engineer.

The inspirational film served as a reminder to the 120 girls of their outstanding potential. Read more in the Island Connection’s Feb. 23 article, “Haut Gap Students Learn About ‘Girl Power.’”

The Book of Love Was a Night to Remember!

Book of Love


Raising awareness and spirits was all in a night’s work for student musicians from Haut Gap Middle School at the Book of Love fundraiser on Monday, Feb. 13. With proceeds benefiting Communities In Schools, the room was filled with educators and philanthropists alike, including Angel Oak Principal, Dr. Michael Griggs and CIS Executive Director, Jane Riley-Gambrell. Attendees experienced a journey through musical time, complete with musical performances by local musicians Lindsay Holler, Sam Sfirri and Greg Winkler.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Communities In Schools during this wonderful event.

Thank You for Funding Camp Ho Non Wah’s Hurricane Repairs

Kiawah Cares members gave generously to the Wadmalaw Island Boy Scout damaged by Hurricane Matthew. While Kiawah Cares hoped to raise half the $10,000 needed to fund repairs, you gave an incredible $11,895 to rebuild this treasured location.

A special thanks goes out to the Friday Walkers, who made a gift for this campaign from their annual two-day Ryder Cup golf event. The Friday Walkers have been active in the area’s charitable community for 18 years.

Put the Focus Back on Learning With Adopt-A-Student

You can help make learning the primary focus this school year by participating in the Adopt-a-Student annual uniform drive.

Entering its fourth year, this partnership with the Kiawah Women’s Group, aims to clothe and feed students at Angel Oak and E.L. Frierson Elementary schools. Poorly fitting or improper clothing often creates a distracting environment for young learners, making it hard to keep their focus on schoolwork.

Your $200 donation will ensure a student has school uniforms and supplies, while supporting the Kiawah Women’s Foundation’s partner program, backpack buddies. Backpack buddies focuses on meeting the nutritional needs of children who may not get enough to eat over the weekend. More than any other issue, hunger adversely affects students, causing not only distraction but detrimental nutrition deficiencies.

To Adopt-A-Student program, please mail two checks (one check made payable to Kiawah Cares Foundation and one to our partner Kiawah Women’s Foundation) for $100 each to Kiawah Cares, c/o Carla Howard, 23 Beachwalker Drive, Kiawah Island, 29455. Contact kiawahcares@kica.us or 843-768-9194 with any questions.

Sponsored Camp Children Send Their Gratitude

kids cards - legare farms

Kiawah Cares sponsored attendance to Legare Farms summer camp for 10 Sea Island children. The children had a great time and sent a bundle of beautiful, colorful thank you cards. Here are some quotes that express these children’s gratitude:

“I love camp because it’s so fun and I love learning about the farm. Without your help, I wouldn’t be able to be here. I’m very thankful for you doing that for me.”

“Thank you for giving me a camp scholarship! I’ve had a really good time at camp. My favorite part was Bug Day, when we caught bugs.”

“Thank you for supporting Legare Farms and providing children with opportunities to attend the camp. My daughter has loved every minute of the camp. Thank you!”

“It is so fun in camp, it has been great. Thank you so much. We love it a lot. I like learning about the farm. I like the piglet and horses a lot. You are so nice.”

“I can see the animals I love, like horses, donkeys, pigs and cows. I love the arts and crafts and the lessons. Thank you so much for paying for me!”

Angel Oak Students Spend a Day at the Beach


Beach Day Collage for Web

Kiawah Cares celebrated its annual A Shore Thing: Youth Beach Day on Thursday, May 19. Fourth grade students from Angel Oak Elementary were rewarded for their hard work all year in the Reading Partners program with a day of fun learning on Kiawah. These children started the school year reading 2½ to 1½ years behind grade level. Now most of them have met their grade-level goals.

Students started off their day with a visit to Night Heron Park to meet KICA biologists Matt Hill, Andrew Kreminski and Roy Robertson. The biologists introduced students to some Kiawah natives: a turtle, a baby alligator and a cornsnake. The kids had a great time petting the animals and learning about their behavior.

Afterwards, everyone headed down to the beach to enjoy the surf and sand. Students collected shells, built sandcastles and played in the waves. They were even able to pay a visit to a nearby turtle nest.

Students and volunteers had a great time at this unique event. We’re already looking forward to next year!

View the Post and Courier’s article on the event.

Thank You for Making Literacy Your Legacy

Kiawah Giving month (1)

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.