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Community Action Projects

Behind the Headlines: Building a Community of Trust

Team Palmetto Focus’ capstone project is entitled “Behind the Headlines: Building a Community of Trust.” Troubled by a barrage of racial tensions evident in the media, Team Palmetto Focus aims to facilitate meaningful discussions about race in South Carolina. Winthrop University is home to the John C. West Forum, which will host the capstone group’s event. A West Forum panel event consisting of law enforcement, academic experts, and activists will be moderated and attended by Winthrop students as well as the public.

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom is an initiative seeking to provide middle school students from high-risk communities with the tools they need to excel in life. The project is made up the following elements: target audience, instruction, mentoring, research, and fund development. Students from Tanglewood Middle School will receive life skills training through Warehouse Theatre staff twice a month, while also having mentors to help in their development.

Big Steps : Little Steps

The group elected to support two charities. Big Steps is the Little Project and Little Steps is the Big Project. 

Big Steps:

The group partnered with the Teen Achievers with the YMCA, a group that encourages teens to seek higher education to overdrive that program. Teen Achievers asked the group for help creating a contact list for volunteer and success coaches, companies willing to provide job shadowing opportunities to teens, and recruiting inspirational leaders to speak to high schools in our community.

The Bike Hubbers

Project Name: Building Capacity for Momentum Bike Clubs

Team 4 of the Spring 2014 Upstate DLI Class has chosen a capstone project designed to strengthen the capacity of Momentum Bike Clubs, which was itself the outcome of an earlier DLI capstone project. A community initiative of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University, Momentum Bike Clubs provides mentoring support to youth living with multiple risk factors: persistent poverty, caregiver incarceration, and/or instability in home life.

Bill's Walkabouts

“Where would you go if you were homeless tonight?”

Each night in Upstate South Carolina there are hundreds of individuals and families that have no place to call home. Bill’s Walkabouts partnered with the Upstate Homeless Coalition (UHC) to present an evening program to highlight the issues of homelessness in the Upstate.

Blue Tie Club Connections

The Blue Tie Club Connectors unanimously decided to reach out to young people early in their lives to make community connections and provide engaged learning opportunities to make a positive impact on the children’s lives. The group met with Thomas Webster, the principal of Jesse Bobo Elementary, a Title I school in Spartanburg, and we discovered the “Blue Tie Club.” The Blue Tie Club is a group of 20 fifth graders - all young men previously identified by the school’s faculty as being in need of extra attention and opportunity for success - who meet after school for various character-building exercises. This team found the group lacked resources and community support, so the goal became to expose these kids to unique opportunities they might otherwise never experience through the group’s passion and efforts as Blue Tie Club Connectors. 

Board Link

BoardLINK is a searchable database intended to make community service opportunities available to DLI alumnae. It is hoped this will increase Board participation and representation, particularly in local government, by DLI alumnae who appreciate the importance of diversity and can offer different perspectives on issues. BoardLINK’s intended purpose is to broaden the pool of candidates available to serve on local government boards, which may lack a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

Through this process the group have/will:

Board Link

Board Link-Lowcounry created a database to aid organizations in finding qualified and diverse candidates for board and commission appointments. Corporate, nonprofit, and governmental entities will be able to search through this database when trying to develop boards that accurately reflect the diversity of our state and nation. Board Link-Lowcountry is targeting graduates of many of the state’s prominent leaderships programs (like DLI) to take an online questionnaire that will then register these graduates into the database.

The Bookworms

In an effort to encourage parent-child bonding and heighten community awareness of the importance of reading to and by young children, Bookworms partnered with Ready 4 Reading (www.ready4reading.org) to develop a network of partners and sustainability plan for the Ready 4 Reading’s Bookshelf Program. This program re-circulates gently used children’s books back into the community by making them available to low-income families through clinics, community centers, Head Start programs and schools.

The Bridge

The Bridge identified gang violence as an issue they wanted to address. The project targets at-risk youth in grades K through 5 and centers on a six-week anti-violence, conflict resolution based curriculum. There are multiple objectives, including getting students of different backgrounds to interact with and learn from each other and preventing an inclination to violence at an early age. Workbooks provided by the department of juvenile justice “No Violence is G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) are used for the program.