Barnwell County United Way has partnered with the guidance counselors at the county's primary schools to enhance the mentoring programs. A new mentoring program was begun at Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville in October 2014, and the mentoring program at Barnwell Primary School doubled for the 2014-15 school year. Kelly Edwards Elementary School has 24 children in the Reading Buddy program, which focuses on helping all students read at grade level. To become involved as a mentor, please call 803-259-2218.
Barnwell County United Way raised $900 in the 2014 Stuff the Bus campaign, and these funds were divided between the county's three school districts for students's basic needs. School supplies were also collected and distributed to the districts to provide for students during the school year.
Service opportunities were provided for area high school students. Students carried the BCUW banner in the local Christmas parades, wrapped and helped give out Secret Santa gifts, and tutored elementary students.
United Way works to end America’s education crisis
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.1 These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2008, United Way launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.
We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
How You Can Help
To reach our goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; literacy volunteers in the classroom; mentors for disadvantaged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy. Call 803-259-2218 to volunteer as a mentor or reader in the schools or to supply needs in the local schools.
1Figure according to Communities in Schools, one of America’s leading drop-out prevention partnerships.