Helping Out highlights some of the many charitable events and activities going on in the Charleston area. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
Charleston County Public Library is launching a new family literacy initiative with funds awarded by the Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant Program. The library’s project was the only one in South Carolina to win a grant from the Keats Foundation. Created in 1987 by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, the grant program supports arts and literacy by funding projects that will inspire students and promote a love for reading. Only 26 projects in the country received grants.
CCPL’s program revolves around Anna McQuinn’s book Lola at the Library, which tells the story of a young girl, Lola, who visits her local library each week with her mother. Called Lola’s Library Bags, the library’s project will involve 100 families living in the areas around the John L. Dart and the Cooper River Memorial branch libraries.
As part of this outreach effort, librarians will work with children and their caregivers to teach effective read-aloud strategies, to share information about the library’s pre-literacy resources and programs, and to help each child create a personalized library bag.
CCPL’s grant proposal was developed by Pam Cadden, children’s services coordinator; Kim Odom, children’s librarian at the John L. Dart Branch; Kathy Sanders, children’s librarian at the Cooper River Memorial Branch; and Sarah Petkus, a VISTA employee working with both branches to promote reading and to reach families in those areas.
The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, donated $42,500 to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina from February through April. The TD Charitable Foundation awarded grants to nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental programs in South Carolina. Charleston-area organizations receiving grants were:
- Charleston Area Community Development Corp., which provides low-wealth families with education and training in home purchasing, maintenance and preservation, and personal finance management.
- Rural Mission Inc., which repairs and rehabilitates very substandard owner-occupied homes for low-income, rural families living on the sea islands of coastal South Carolina.
- The Sustainability Institute’s Energy Conservation Corps, which provides home weatherization services in order to lower energy bills for low-income families as well as green workforce training, certification and job placement services for corps members.
For four years, the TBonz Community Foundation and Yoga Kidz have been bringing the benefits of yoga into local elementary schools. In 2008, Yoga Kidz teamed up with two Charleston-area schools, Mitchell Math and Science Elementary School and Charleston Progressive Academy, to introduce students to a program designed to enhance their focus and learning ability through the basics of yoga practice.
In the classroom, teachers use yoga to help the students get settled in the morning and to help ease transitions throughout the day. For some students, yoga is used in place of regular classes to help meet physical education standards. The students learn different yoga poses, breathing techniques and guided relaxations. The benefits of yoga in the classroom include improved posture, self-esteem and self-control as well as enhanced oxygen flow.
Some 150 T-Mobile employees will give W.B. Goodwin Elementary School in North Charleston an “extreme makeover” on Thursday as they transform an afterschool space. The event is part of T-Mobile’s national Huddle Up community outreach and employee volunteer program, connecting kids, primarily from single-parent families, to programs. Now in its seventh year, T-Mobile Huddle Up has transformed more than 68 afterschool programs nationwide, and is taking on 10 more “extreme makeovers” in 2012.
In conjunction with the 2012 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course, the PGA of America and Kiawah Island Golf Resort are partnering with Sea Island Habitat for Humanity to build a house from June 23 to July 7. Volunteers are needed to assist with this project. No construction experience is necessary, and all tools and guidance will be provided by professional Habitat for Humanity project managers. The project location is 1108 Obadiah Court on Johns Island. All volunteers must be 18 years of age by June 23 to participate in this program. Download a volunteer application. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-768-6003.
The Charleston Animal Society is waiving all adoption fees today through Sunday in an effort to help with its animal population crisis. The first 50 adoptions on Wednesday receive a PetSmart gift card. The animals come spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. All dogs are evaluated by certified assessors. Extended hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Charleston Animal Society is located at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston. For more information, call 843-747-4849.
The first Charleston Beer Garden, inspired by the festive biergartens of Germany, will be Saturday at Brittlebank Park. The festival features a lineup of craft brews and treats from the Food Truck rodeo within the festival grounds. Enjoy an afternoon of live music, featuring Charleston home-grown bands, beer school classes, cornhole, homebrew supplies and a 14-person photo booth. The event is from 1-8 p.m. rain or shine. Tickets are $25 in advance; 10% of ticket sales benefit Pet Helpers.