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Community Action Projects

STEM Stars: Plant a Seed and STEMs will Grow

Partnering with Spartanburg County School District 7’s Mary H. Wright Elementary (MHW), DLI’s STEM Stars will support the integration of STEM curriculum into MHW’s 4th and 5th grade classrooms by providing curriculum. The curriculum will consist of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ A World in Motion (AWIM) and the WeDo Lego Education. MHW will upfit an existing classroom so their students can use the new STEM curriculum in a lab-type environment.

Storytellers

The Storytellers project is designed to develop an avenue for local schools to use the art of storytelling to teach the history of South Carolina. Storytellers will produce an oral history of the integration of Greenville County Schools and develop a lesson plan for middle school history programs. The oral history will weave period graphics with the videotaped personal interviews from actors who participated in the desegregation of GCS, including Secretary Dick Riley, AV Huff, Clyde Mayes, and others.

STRETCH for Children: Striving to Reach Each Terrific Child's Hunger

STRETCH (Striving To Reach Each Terrific Child’s Hunger) sought to address a tragic reality facing many children in South Carolina every weekend - a lack of available food, as a result of not having access to school-provided free and reduced price meals. After researching the mechanics, infrastructure, and viability of existing programs designed to combat this problem, STRETCH worked in conjunction with Harvest Hope Food Bank to implement a Backpack Program at Sumter County School District Two's R.E. Davis Elementary School, a school with a 96% free and reduced price lunch rate, in which children are sent home every weekend with a backpack stocked with nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food. STRETCH designed the program with an eye on creating a sustainable, scalable model that will hopefully be replicated in other schools.

Surviving Humanity

Surviving Humanity team members focused on the vision of creating a Lowcountry Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner to celebrate regional diversity achievements and success. They modeled their dinner on the existing Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner. Awards will be given to nominees in several categories, including college student, high school student, business, individual, etc. Using the Upstate model, the group hopes to create community partnerships that will help realize the goal of an annual Lowcountry event sponsored by numerous regional organizations.

Synergy

Non-profit organizations have experienced difficulty in maintaining diverse board membership. Synergy addressed the identification and recruitment aspects of non-profit board diversity. The group created an interactive website, www.SCBoardDiversity.com, to facilitate exchange of materials and information between interested candidates and various non-profit boards. This site is predominantly maintained by the USC Upstate Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

Synergy

With the primary objective of building a greater sense of community and promoting diversity awareness among our leaders of tomorrow, Synergy will bring together a diverse group of student leaders around the Midlands to address a prevalent social issue—Texting While Driving.

Team One

The need for affordable, dependable after school care is real. The Boys and Girls Club filled this need for Allendale and Barnwell, providing high quality and affordable extended care. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the clubs had to close in 2016.

Team One recognized the void that was left by the Boys and Girls Club in Allendale and Barnwell. The team collaborated with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. The project mission was to study the feasibility of the Midlands BGC expansion and sustainability to Allendale and Barnwell. The group brainstormed with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, studied required resources, met with schools and parents, began base fundraising, and developed possible action plans to address potential roadblocks of expansion. As of June 2017, the team was continuing efforts to determine the acceptability of a new model that is used in the Midlands as well as fundraising efforts to augment this model as necessary in these counties.  

Team 20/20

20/20 team members chose to create a diversity leadership program for young professionals in the Charleston region. Inspired by their own encounter with diversity leadership, group members wanted to share their experience with a growing population of young professionals in the region and set out to develop the Charleston Young Professionals Diversity Academy. Team 20/20's plan is designed to educate young professionals on diversity initiatives and create a business community of young professionals that is diversity-conscious.

Team D-LIGHTT

Team D-LIGHTT (Diversity Leaders Initiative Group Helping Teach Tolerance) partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry for its project since teaching children tolerance must begin at an early age and should include exposing them to a diverse range of people, ideas and experiences. The Museum provides a place for children to interact in an educational and enriching environment that fosters tolerance, understanding and appreciation for all types of people regardless of race, culture, age, class, gender, physical ability or other differences.

Team 5 Alive

During the first project meeting, team member and pediatrician, Dr. James Simmons shared that he recently lost three patients in a house fire. He questioned the need for smoke alarms in homes. Everyone sympathized with James. Team member and City of Beaufort Fire Chief, Reece Bertholf shared that fire detectors are often in homes but are not working. Reece also shared a safety tip some of us were not aware of and that is sleeping with your bedroom door closed can buy you minutes needed to escape and stay ALIVE.