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Student of the Week – January 19th

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Murphy

Wesley Murphy
Grade: 12
School Whale Branch Early College High School

Wesley Murphy was nominated by Shelia Cato, who said, “Wesley is a young man of integrity and humor. Despite difficulties, he continues to move forward. He works hard to achieve his goals academically and athletically.”

Wesley took some time recently to answer a few questions:

Q: What’s your favorite subject and why?

A: Math, because to me all I need is how to do the problem and then remember it.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments?

A: I made the honor roll 10 times in high school. I’ve also made all-county and all-region in cross country.

Q: What clubs and activities are you involved in?

A: The National Honor Society and Community Fun Day volunteer.

Q: Who do you admire and why?

A: My grandfather because he isn’t pushed around and he’s very wise.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of school? 

A: I like running, playing soccer with friends and watching my girlfriend play soccer.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: “Escape to Victory.”

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?

A: Kevin Hart.

Q: What’s your favorite music?

A: Gospel.

School briefs for January 19th-25th

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Students participating in oratorical program

High school students will be competing in the American Legion’s Oratorical Scholarship Program in January, and Beaufort is no exception.

American Legion Post 9 has invited participants from the local area to compete for scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States.

Participating students will gather Saturday, Jan. 21, to present an 8- to 10-minute oration on some phase on the Constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the government.

Students will demonstrate their development of leadership, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently and how they are prepared to accept the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.

Post 9 will pay up to $200 to the winner to cover expenses as they move on to the next levels in the competition, first engaging other students from 10 counties in the southern part of the state on Saturday, Feb. 18.

On March 11, the South Carolina finals will be held in Columbia at which $4,000 in scholarships will be awarded. The state winner will move on to the national finals where all state participants will receive at least an additional $1,500 and the three top winners receive $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 respectively.

To date the American Legion has awarded more than $3 million to contestants in the High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.

Local students to march in inaugural parade

The Citadel cadets Christopher Wallace, John Bingham and Forrest Kimbrell, all of Beaufort, will march in the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade.

The 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade represents the 7th inaugural parade in which The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, Color Guard and/or Summerall Guard have been selected to participate.

They jointly represented The Citadel together in the 1953 and 1985 inaugural parades.

Inclement weather forced the cancellation of President Reagan’s 1985 parade.

The regimental band was also a participant in President Kennedy’s 1961 parade. The Summerall Guard participated in President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 inaugural parade and President George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural parade.

Kindergarten, pre-K enrollments scheduled

Registration for Beaufort County children whose parents want them to attend public school kindergarten or pre-kindergarten next school year will be held from Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Wednesday, March 1.

During that month, interested parents with children who will be 5 years old by Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, should complete kindergarten enrollment packets at the school serving their neighborhood’s attendance area.

Parents with questions about school attendance zones should call any elementary school in their area.

Parents with children who will be 4 years old by Sept. 1 should register for pre-kindergarten at their neighborhood schools. Because space is limited for pre-K, 4 year olds will be assessed for possible enrollment during “Child Find” screenings the week of March 6-10.  Decisions on placement for pre-K will be made at each school after children’s screenings are complete.  Children are ranked in order of greatest need for participation in the program based on the provided list of at-risk indicators.

Children who will be 6 years old by Sept. 1 should register for first grade.

For all student enrollments, parents should bring their child’s birth certificate, South Carolina Certificate of Immunization (shot record) and two proofs of residency such as a utility bill showing a home address.

For more information about registering a child in Beaufort County, call your neighborhood school or the district’s Office of Early Childhood at 843-521-2399.

Information is also available on the school district’s website (beaufortschools.net) by clicking on “Parents,” then “Kindergarten Registration and Prekindergarten Screenings.”

Riverview accepting K-8 applications

Riverview Charter School is now accepting kindergarten through eighth-grade applications for the 2017-2018 school year.

The deadline is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, to be considered part of open enrollment and included in any ensuing lottery.

Applications received after that day and time will only be considered on a space-available basis and in the order upon which they are received, with those student’s names being added to the end of the wait-list. Applications are available on the school’s website at www.RiverviewCharterSchool.org, at the school at 81 Savannah Highway and at daycares and public facilities in Beaufort County.

Requests for an application to be mailed can be made by calling the school at 843-379-0123.

Anyone interested in learning more about Beaufort County’s first charter school can attend a Community Open House from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Riverview Charter School.

Additionally, parents can drop in at the school at 9 a.m. every Wednesday during January for a brief tour along with a question-and-answer session. No appointment is necessary. Families seeking a tour on other days or at other times can contact the school at 843-379-0123.

As a public school in the Beaufort County School District, Riverview is open to Beaufort County residents. There is no tuition and no selection process. Free bus transportation is available, as well as before- and after-care for students (scholarships available).

Visit www.riverviewcharterschool.org.

SADD Club collecting holiday cards

The SADD Club of Battery Creek High School is collecting the front of holiday cards for re-cycling. All card fronts except Disney, American Greeting and Hallmark cards can be recycled.

Card fronts can be left in the front office for pickup or mailed to BCHS SADD Club, c/o BCHS, 1 Blue Dolphin Drive, Beaufort.

The BCHS SADD Club is also participating in Souper Bowl of Caring, through Thursday, Feb. 9. This is a nationwide program that aims to help feed the hungry in our country. All types of soup – canned and dry mixes – are being collected and can be dropped off in the front office. Donations collected at BCHS will be donated to HELP of Beaufort and Love House Ministries Food Pantry. This is the sixth year the BCHS SADD Club has participated in this program.

Local college students notch achievements

The following students have graduated or made the Dean’s List at their respective schools:

• John Ferguson, of Lady’s Island, and Janelle Vernoy, of Beaufort, have been named to the Dean’s List at Bob Jones University for academic achievement during the Fall 2016 semester.

• Nicole Clemons, of Beaufort, has been named to the University of Rhode Island’s Fall 2016 Dean’s List.

• Sam Marcus McDonald, Hannah Jean Raymond and Harrison James Tucker, all of Beaufort, received degrees Dec. 15 from Clemson University.

AAUW-Beaufort branch plans STEM program

The Beaufort Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW), along with the University of South Carolina and Beaufort County public schools, is planning a hands-on, fun day of activities for middle school girls to explore the opportunities in STEM careers, which include science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The STEM day for local middle school girls will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the USCB Center for the Arts.

Lunch will be provided.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend with their daughter to support her and to learn about jobs in the STEM areas.  Information about the program will be distributed through the middle schools.

AAUW is a national organization dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Holy Trinity Classical Christian School sends meals to ‘Feed the Need’

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unnamed-6Typical school fundraising efforts, like selling wrapping paper and magazine subscriptions, did not seem like the right fit for the Holy Trinity community, not with so many hungry people in the world. And so, the community came together—administrators, faculty, staff, parents and students—to reach out from the land of abundance to the land of need.

Beginning in September, Holy Trinity parents launched the school’s second annual fund campaign with the new addition of “Feed the Need,” a family-led fundraising initiative. The parent body connected with friends, relatives and the Lowcountry business community, raising money for both the Love to Learn, Learn to Love  Holy Trinity annual fund, as well as to purchase, prepare and package some 10,000 meals to be sent to the people of Haiti who were affected by a devastating earthquake early this fall.

According to Holy Trinity Board Member and Advancement Chair, Brenton Bozard, “The Feed the Need parent led fundraiser was a wonderful opportunity to serve a need in Haiti, as well as raise funds for Holy Trinity’s annual fund that supports the school’s faith based tuition policy, striving to keep tuition in reach for Beaufort families.”

While the campaign was energetically moving forward in Beaufort SC, Hurricane Matthew raked Haiti with Category 4 winds, claiming 473 lives and leaving a trail of destruction that deprived the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country of food, clean water and shelter.

Now faced with an even greater need, the Holy Trinity parents redoubled their efforts to collect money for the Haitian people. Working together, the students and their families raised $114,993 for the “Feed the Need” campaign and boosted the number of meals from 10,000 to 16,500.

Over 200 Holy Trinity students packed the thousands of meals to be sent to the Caribbean. “It was an honor working hand in hand with the Holy Trinity families to benefit the people of Haiti and Holy Trinity,” says Andrea Cooler, the FTN event director and a parent herself. “It was a humbling experience watching God’s hand work throughout our fundraising efforts. Only through God could we have exceeded our fundraising goals by such margins.”

Holy Trinity Classical Christian School provides 275 students with a distinctly Christian and classical education. Holy Trinity is the result of a long-standing commitment to education by the Parish Church of St. Helena, beginning in 1748 with the founding of the first free school in Beaufort, SC and later in 1801 by the donation of 20 acres of land for the establishment of Beaufort College, resulting in what is now the University of South Carolina Beaufort.  The current student body of Holy Trinity is comprised of families from over a dozen Christian churches of various denominations.

School briefs for January 5th-11th

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Students take second in stock market race

Bridges Prep’s fifth-grade girls earned $10,500 in simulated profits – enough for runner-up status – in the statewide Stock Market Game this fall sponsored by the S.C. Council on Economic Education and the Moore Business College at USC.

As part of the project, students in grades 4-12 received lessons in finance, economics and research as required by the S.C. education standards.

Student teams learned about the stock market and each team was given a fictitious account with $100,000 to invest. Final team standings were based on each team’s profit and loss as compared to the Standard & Poor 500 Growth.

The Bridges team will visit Columbia in the springtime for an awards ceremony. Team members included Bailey Bates, Kayle Brown, Madeline Cook, Riley Gowen, Emma Mendenhall and Payton Mullen.

“While it was a game, we took it seriously, and as a result our Fifth-Grade Girls Team placed second out of 149 teams in the South Carolina competition,” said John W. O’Connell Jr., the team’s leader and a Bridges Prep gifted and talented program teacher.

District offering two school choice events

The Beaufort County School District is gearing up to accept school choice applications for the 2017-18 academic year, the third year of the district’s expanded choice initiative.

More than 2,300 students currently attend schools outside their zoned attendance areas.

Two regional information fairs will give students and their parents opportunities to learn about the district’s choice programs and how to apply for them.

The first fair, which will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Beaufort Middle School, will feature choice programs in Northern Beaufort County.

The second fair will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at H.E. McCracken Middle School and will feature choice programs in Southern Beaufort County.

After the two regional fairs, individual schools will host their own meetings between Jan. 17 and Jan. 31 so students and parents can get more detailed on-site information about the choices they offer.

“Parents know that every child has different strengths and every child learns differently,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our school choice program is designed to accommodate those different learning styles and put children in the best possible position to succeed. Instruction is customized to their talents and interests, which increases their knowledge and builds their confidence.”

Beaufort County students who attend choice programs do not pay extra tuition, although families are responsible for their students’ transportation if they live outside of their schools’ attendance zones.  All choice schools also serve children who live in their attendance zones, in addition to students from outside the zone who apply to attend.

School choice applications will be posted to the district’s website on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and must be turned in by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.  Paper copies of the application will be available in all school offices.

Complete information on the district’s programs, including access to application forms and key dates, is available online at the School Choice Headquarters website.

At beaufortschools.net, click on “Parents’ in the main menu bar and scroll down to “School Choice Headquarters.”

Local students graduate from universities 

A total of 719 students were eligible to walk in Coastal Carolina University’s fall 2016 commencement, compared to 595 in 2015 and 590 in 2014. Two ceremonies were held in the HTC Center on campus on Dec. 16-17.

Speaking to Coastal Carolina University’s largest class of fall semester graduation candidates, commencement speaker Susan O’Malley advised the graduates to follow their passions.

Candidates for graduation were Caitlynn Chavis and Torrance Legare, both of Beaufort, and Muhammad Abdul-Malik and Janiecia Mitchell, both of Bluffton.

In other local student news:

• Patrick Taylor-Wells of Bluffton was among some 2,270 students at University of Alabama who were awarded degrees during winter commencement on Dec. 10.

• Christopher Cleary, of Bluffton, was named to the Fall 2016 Honors list at Pomfret School.

• Rachael Sutton, of Bluffton, was among approximately 490 Bob Jones University students named to the Fall 2016 President’s List.

• University of Mount Union recently released the recipients of its financial awards for the 2016-17 academic year. Roberto Olivera, of Bluffton, was one of 355 students to earn a financial award from Mount Union.

Riverview Charter offers commemorative bricks

Riverview Charter School invites you to honor a loved one, thank a special teacher, market your business or simply commemorate your commitment to the school with a personalized, engraved brick to be set in the courtyard between the new middle school and original building.

The Pave the Way fundraising campaign helps to enhance the schools educational experience for students and provides a lasting reminder for all to see.

The school’s goal is to sell 1,500 personalized bricks, with 100 percent of the net fundraising proceeds to be used for the benefit of the students and teachers.

Visit www.bricksrus.com/order/rcs.

Beaufort, Jasper boards reach agreement on ACE

After an affirmative vote by the Jasper County board of education, the Beaufort County board of education recently voted to replace the 42-year-old agreement on operating the Beaufort-Jasper Academy of Career Excellence with a new arrangement that will continue through June 30, 2019.

The technical school is jointly owned by both counties and has about 475 students and a budget of $2.8 million. Two-thirds of the students and funding come from Beaufort County. The new agreement approved by the two school boards will maintain career and technology education programs at ACE that currently include automotive repair, barbering, building construction, cosmetology, law enforcement services and plant and animal services.

Beginning Jan. 1, ACE will be supervised by the two district superintendents, with members of the ACE board becoming ex officio non-voting committee members who meet quarterly with the superintendents.

For the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, the superintendents will determine student enrollment, with up to two-thirds being Beaufort County students and up to one-third being Jasper County students.  If either district doesn’t fill its quota, the other district can enroll additional students.

The Beaufort County School District will continue to pay two-thirds of ACE’s operating costs until June 30, 2019, and the Jasper County School District will pay one-third.  When the two-year agreement terminates, the Jasper County School District will have the option to purchase the Beaufort County School District’s 50 percent share of the property for half of its appraised value.

As discussions between the two districts have continued over the past two years, Beaufort County has dramatically expanded its own career and technology offerings and built new cutting-edge CATE facilities at Battery Creek and May River high schools.

AAUW-Beaufort branch plans STEM program

The Beaufort Branch of AAUW along with the University of South Carolina and Beaufort County public schools, is planning a hands-on, fun day of activities for middle school girls to explore the opportunities in STEM careers, which include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The STEM day for local middle school girls will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Lunch will be provided.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend with their daughter to support her and to learn about jobs in the STEM areas. Information about the program will be distributed through the middle schools.

AAUW(American Association of University Women) is a national organization dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School celebrates 25 years

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stpeters

Photo above: Students at St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School on Lady’s Island are exposed to solid, traditional teachings of a religious education combined with training, discipline and high academic standards.

This school year marks the 25th academic year of St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School on Lady’s Island.

“There is a tangible buzz on campus,” said Principal Ann Feltner, who began her long association with the “Saints and Scholars” of St. Peter’s in 1996 as a parent, and has since held various leadership and teaching positions at the school.

“I can see the excitement growing that people in our community have for St. Peter’s. Many volunteers from the community are helping us make it into the vibrant campus it has become,” she said.

Feltner exudes enthusiasm and pride while discussing the volunteers who worked side by side with paid employees, contractors, parents and teachers to give the school a major renovation this past summer to get it ready for its 25th anniversary year.

New paint, new lighting, new flooring, new safety doors and new security cameras were added, in addition to the volunteers who have been tutoring students, reading to classes, gardening campus grounds, working in the school office and shelving books in the library.

Admission to St. Peter’s Elementary School is open to children of all faiths, so “it is good for the children to see the volunteers from all walks of life come to the school and give of their talents,” said Feltner, who had four children attend St. Peter’s and who now has grandchildren enrolled.

The school has seen many changes in the 25 years since the now retired Monsignor Martin Laughlin began garnering support from the St. Peter’s Church parishioners because he felt strongly the children of the area deserved the opportunity to get a traditional religious education.

The school started in the small eight-room education wing of the parish complex in 1991. In its first year, the school consisted of five classrooms, a library, a work room and an office.

As grades were added, space was needed. A new school building was constructed on the church’s property in 1995. Enrollment peaked in 2000, when the school averaged about 220 students.

But the road to success wasn’t always easy.

Feltner remembers when the recession hit Beaufort in 2007 and enrollment dropped dramatically. Since then, the Beaufort County School District’s public charter schools have opened in addition to a new Christian school in downtown Beaufort. All have offered enrollment challenges to St. Peter’s Elementary School. But Feltner remains resilient, stating “no other elementary school in the Beaufort area can offer the solid, traditional teachings” of a religious education “combined with the training, discipline and high academic standards” that St. Peter’s offers. Two-thirds of the faculty hold graduate degrees. Spanish is taught, and values and discipline are emphasized.

Teachers are concerned about the character development of each student.

“Our educational environment nurtures the whole child – mind, body and soul – into becoming a saint and scholar,” explained Feltner, quoting the school’s motto of Saints and Scholars, which emphasizes St. Peter’s commitment to supporting the spiritual and intellectual growth of each child.

In addition, all paid staff, volunteers and anyone who interacts with children are trained to proactively recognize and safeguard students from bullying and abuse.

Homes for the Holidays presented a $40,000 check to benefit St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School’s tuition assistance fund. The event has raised close to $750,000 in the last 15 years. From left are Ann Feltner, principal of St. Peter's Catholic School; co-chairs of Homes of the Holidays Leigh Ann Parrick, Elizabeth Dardes, Mary Cunningham, and Maritza Schmidt, and St. Peter's Father Paul MacNeil.
Homes for the Holidays presented a $40,000 check to benefit St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School’s tuition assistance fund. The event has raised close to $750,000 in the last 15 years. From left are Ann Feltner, principal of St. Peter’s Catholic School; co-chairs of Homes of the Holidays Leigh Ann Parrick, Elizabeth Dardes, Mary Cunningham, and Maritza Schmidt, and St. Peter’s Father Paul MacNeil.

“Another positive aspect about our school is that decisions are made at the lowest level possible. Cumbersome, stifling bureaucracy simply does not exist,” said Feltner.

Today, during the school’s 25th year, the school is a vibrant, active campus and enrolls 103 Saints and Scholars in grades pre-K through sixth grade, with the seventh and eighth grades having moved to John Paul II High School in Okatie two school years ago.

Recently, Kim Morris, a third-grade teacher at St. Peter’s, received a sizable national grant to improve math fluency and assist students in mastering basic math skills. The school has also utilized the talents of the college students studying computer science at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, having them repair and update all of the school’s computers.

When it came time for their children to start school, John and Catherine Stephens of Beaufort felt St. Peter’s Elementary School was where their children would receive the best overall education.

In the two years their daughter, Laura, 5, has been enrolled, “we have been amazed at what she has learned about faith,” said her mother, Catherine. “She says things out of the blue like, ‘Jesus wants us to help people when they are sick.’”

Catherine Stephens admits the tuition is a sacrifice, but surprisingly the tuition is a lot less than other private schools in the area.

Having children grow up to be a well-rounded, educated, disciplined individual is something that Feltner understands is a goal of many parents, as she shared the same goal when she was raising her own children.

Her son Dan, who attended St. Peter’s, now has daughters, Delilah and Cami, enrolled at the school.

“It was important for us to enroll our children at St. Peter’s where we knew they would get a good education, and also learn about how they should treat others,” explained Dan’s wife, Shelby, who works at St. Peter’s as an executive assistant.

But despite the successes the school has seen in its 25 years, Feltner has bigger plans she would like to see achieved.

“I would love to see our school continue to do more community outreach. There are many local organizations that would benefit from having our students share their talents,” she said, as she was getting some students ready to attend an outing to Morningside Assisted Living to sing for the senior citizens who live there.

Judging by the dedication of all of those involved, the buzz on the St. Peter’s Elementary School campus is surely spreading throughout the entire Beaufort community.

It is not too late in the school year to enroll your child at St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary School. To learn about enrollment and the tuition assistance available, contact Feltner at 843-522-2163 or visit www.saintpeterscatholicschoolbeaufortsc.org

School briefs for December 29th-January 4th

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foundation

Photo above: The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded the Dr. Wayne Carbiener “Above and Beyond” Beaufort County Teacher of the Year recognition grant to 2016 Beaufort County School District Teacher of the Year Elizabeth MacMurray, an English teacher at Hilton Head High School. This $1,000 award is presented annually to the district Teacher of the Year to be used for innovative instructional activities and projects to further inspire and fund the efforts of the selected teacher of the year. From left are Mary Cordray, BCSD board chair; Jody Dreyer, daughter of Carbiener, and his wife, Jacqui Carbiener; MacMurray; Jackie Rosswurm, foundation board chair; and Dr. Jeffrey Moss, BCSD superintendent.

M.C. Riley’s Epic Eagles Robotics Team participated in the regional LEGO League Tournament on Dec. 17 at Doby Mills Elementary in Lugoff.

 

Student of the Week – December 29th

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Charleszetta Washington
Grade: 11
School: Whale Branch Early College High School

This week’s Student of the Week is Charleszetta Washington, an 11th grader at Whale Branch Early College High School. She was nominated by teacher Peter Burvenich, who said, “Charleszetta is an all-around great student whether you are discussing grades or the overall quality of work she produces.

“This is the second time I have had the opportunity to teach Charleszetta and there is never a time where she is not polite and respectful when it comes to the way she interacts with adults or her peers. The same respectful attitude is portrayed in her assignments that she completes on a daily basis.”

Charleszetta took some time recently to answer some questions.

Q: What’s your favorite subject and why? 

A: Math is my favorite subject because it seems easy to me after I see the skills and understand them and how they go together.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments? 

A: Completion of honors courses in mathematics and working to become a member of Ladies First.

Q: What clubs and activities are you involved in?

A: I will be an active member of Ladies First club at WBECHS in January 2017.

Q: Who do you admire and why? 

A: I admire my father because he has never given up on me or my siblings throughout our lives during hard times in our family.

Q: What’s your favorite movie? 

A: My favorite movie has to be the “Twilight” trilogy.

BA students create topographical map of SC

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The Beaufort Academy third-grade social studies curriculum encompasses the study of South Carolina. Along with the South Carolina Studies Weekly newspaper, the class created a huge topographical map of the state. It included elements of science, reading, writing and research. This hands-on project has proven to be interactive and all- encompassing. After laying a salt dough base, the students painted and labeled the regions, added rivers, rice and cotton plantations, Indian habitats, the state bird, flower and tree as well as Spanish and English ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Beaufort County Library to expand Wi-Fi program to schools

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Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the South Carolina State Library (SCSL), a pilot partnership between Beaufort County’s public schools and libraries seeking to bring Internet access to some families living in rural Northern Beaufort County has been so successful that the library has been awarded a $23,194 grant to expand the program.

The Beaufort County Library has partnered with Beaufort County, the Beaufort County School District and Kajeet MiFi to expand the reach and benefits of free access to the internet to underserved youth and communities by expanding the SmartSpot Educational Broadband Program.

The grant allows for 50 middle school students and their families in the areas of Lobeco, Sheldon, St. Helena Island and Yemassee to borrow the hotspot devices for the remainder of the school year.

The SmartSpot devices use cellular networks to create a personal broadband Internet hotspot and provide portable, high-speed Internet connectivity that can be shared between multiple users.

The program comes at no cost to the school district, as Beaufort County funded the initial pilot project for Kajeet MiFi devices and Internet access through its library budget, according to Library Director Ray McBride.

This initiative will help to bridge a major gap in the availability of the Internet for a critical segment of Beaufort County’s population which has the most to gain from its use. The SmartSpot Program provides quality access and allows users to continue to learn, work, explore and create beyond library and school hours.

Parents or guardians who have students in grades 6-12 who have no Internet access at home may apply through their Beaufort County Branch Library (Beaufort, Lobeco and St. Helena Branch Libraries only).

This project is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The South Carolina State Library is a national model for innovation, collaboration, leadership and effectiveness. It is the keystone in South Carolina’s intellectual landscape.

America Recycles Day billboard contest winners announced

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The winning artwork of a Robert Smalls International Academy student was unveiled on Beaufort County’s Facebook page after being selected as the top design in the county’s first annual America Recycles Day billboard contest.

The winner of the billboard contest was seventh-grader Cheyene Ly. Her design will be displayed on a billboard in Beaufort County in spring 2017.

The billboard contest, coordinated by the Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office, was held in celebration of America Recycles Day.

“The students played an important role in educating the community on the importance of recycling,” said Ashley Jenkins, Beaufort County recycling coordinator.  “We can’t thank them enough.”

The contest was developed to help promote, educate and bring awareness to middle school students and the community on the importance of recycling.

All winners received a certificate and have their work displayed on the county’s website and Facebook page. The top entries were: Cheyene Ly, first place; Malina Bennett-Hart, second place; and Jourdin Davic, third place.

Tekera Brown, Jaili Lopez and George Luna received honorable mentions.

“It is necessary that we educate the public on the importance of keeping recyclable materials out of the landfills,” Jenkins said. “The ultimate goal is to have a clean and sustainable environment.”

Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office provides environmental education opportunities to schools in Beaufort County area.

For more information, call 843-255-2823 or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Student Cheyenne Ly poses with Ashley Jenkins, Beaufort County recycling coordinator.
Student Cheyenne Ly poses with Ashley Jenkins, Beaufort County recycling coordinator.
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