Wes Hickman (202 224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864 250-1417)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today announced school districts in Florence, Greenville, Lexington, Richland, and Sumter counties will receive education grants worth over $4 million.
- Florence County School District One will receive a $294,738 grant for professional development institutes for arts educators. The school district, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education, the University of South Carolina, Converse College, and Columbia College will offer technology-rich professional development institutes for teachers in all 247 eligible public schools in the state. Instruction will cover visual arts, music and dance. Each teacher attending one of these institutes will receive a new multi-media computer, software, and peripheral equipment unique to a certain arts specialty.
- Greenville County School District will receive a $178,285 grant to support the school districts professional development program. The project goal is to give Greenville County teacher and area professional artists a working knowledge of arts integrated instruction, leading to increased student engagement and performance. The program will expand the Tanglewood Arts Integration Training Institute and design professional development seminars for teachers and artists.
- Lexington County School District One will receive a $499,914 grant to implement an effective smaller learning communities program at White Knoll High School. The funds will be used to increase the success rate of ninth grade students and implement extended learning opportunities for high school seniors.
- Lexington-Richland School District Five will receive a $499,295 grant to create a more personalized experience and increase student achievement at Irmo High School. The funds will be used to create a Freshman Transition/Ninth Grade Experience program with a separate Ninth Grade House, academic teaming, flexible scheduling, and a semester class for study skills, life skills, service learning, and career awareness; a Peer and Mentoring Support program that will provide younger students with an upperclass mentor and student instructors for academic assistance; and, Schools of Study, small learning communities for grades 10-12 that combine academics with contextual learning, individualized graduation and career planning, linkages to postsecondary education, industry certification, internships and job shadowing, career exploration and preparation, and service learning.
- Richland County School District will receive a $2 million grant to support the Students Truly Achieving at Richland One (STAR-1) program. STAR-1 is designed to address needs and gaps in the education programs at Dreher, Lower Richland, A.C. Flora, and Eau Claire high schools. The program initiatives call for the creation of a Freshman Academy to support student transition to high school, an Upper Academy to offer college and career assistance, extensive parental and community outreach programs, and professional development.
- Sumter School District Two will receive a $956,856 grant to implement a Freshman Academy setting, career pathways, academic enhancement, mentoring, smaller class sizes and personalized settings at Crestwood and Lakewood high schools.
“These grants will help South Carolina schools provide a more complete, effective and personalized learning experience for our students,” said Graham. “The small learning community programs promote achievement and are designed to work with students to address their interests and to encourage success in those fields.”
The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.