Dec 1, 1996

WINGS Founded by Ginny Deerin

The vision: By the time that kids are teenagers, they'll know how to live powerfully, joyfully, responsibly.

Jan 1, 1997

Residential Summer Camp Model Developed

 jan.1.1997.png  top-crop.png    

Kids attend summer camp for a week at a time, with monthly "refreshers" to practice and build on the skills they learn.

   middle-crop.png may.1.2000.png 

May 1, 2000

Developed at Memminger Elementary School

Aug 1, 2002

Model Replicated at 2 more Elementary Schools

 aug.1.2002.png  middle-crop.png  

Carefully designed curriculum of social and emotional learning is integrated into after school activities that kids find fun and stimulating.


WINGS runs after school programs at Wilmot J Fraser Elementary School and Murray-LaSaine Elementary School.

   middle-crop.png may.1.2013.png 

May 1, 2003

Middle School Model Developed

May 1, 2004 - Aug 6, 2004

Day Camp Model Developed

 may.1.2004.png  middle-crop.png  

The WINGS Leadership Academy opens in a historic firehouse, serving 20 kids who are all graduates of our elementary program.


WINGS collaborates with the Boys & Girls Club to run a summer day camp for approximately 100 kids.

   middle-crop.png jun.1.2005.png 

Jun 1, 2005 - Jan 29, 2006

Development of Memminger Program as learning lab

Aug 1, 2006

Field tTesting at 8 Programs that are not being run by WINGS

 aug.1.2006.png  middle-crop.png  

Our flagship program at this elementary school in downtown Charleston is where WINGS develops strategies, practices and materials that build social and emotional smarts.


WINGS runs Developmental Partnerships at 8 schools in Charleston and Washington, D.C. acquiring important lessons on how to replicate effectively.

   middle-crop.png aug.1.2007.png 

Aug 1, 2007

Performance Management System Implemented

May 1, 2008

Flight Plan Launched

 may.1.2008.png  middle-crop.png  

To monitor whether the kids are learning what WINGS teaches, we use web-based technology called ETO (Efforts to Outcomes) combined with exacting observation and carefully crafted learning objectives.


After raising a half million dollars in less than 3 months, WINGS takes the first steps in our ambitious 5-year plan that builds organizational capacity so that we expand programming without sacrificing quality and effectiveness.

   middle-crop.png aug.28.2008.png 

Aug 28, 2008

Add 1 New Program; total of 2

Aug 1, 2009

Add 1 New Program; total of 3

 aug.1.2009.png middle-crop.png  

Chicora Elementary School program opens in impoverished North Charleston neighborhood, adding 130 new WINGS kids to the 120 we serve at our learning lab in downtown Charleston, Memminger Elementary School.


WINGS program grows again to North Charleston Elementary School, serving an additional 145 kids per day .

   middle-crop.png mar.1.2010.png 

Mar 1, 2010

Stage one of formative evaluation is completed

Aug 1, 2010

WINGS becomes an Americorps Program

 aug.1.2010.png middle-crop.png  




   middle-crop.png aug.1.2010.two.png 

Aug 1, 2010

WINGS opens 4th Program

Jan 1, 2011

WINGS Founder and CEO Ginny Deerin takes flight

 jan.1.2011.png middle-crop.png  

WINGS opens 4th program at James Simons Elementary School, serving an additional 95 kids each day.


For 14 years, Ginny's leadership shaped WINGS into a high-performing, outcomes oriented, FUN education program that delivers true impact in the lives of kids. It's important for non-profits to prove they can stand alone, without their founder and that's just what happened.


   middle-crop.png jan.1.2011-two.png 

Jan 1, 2011 - May 24, 2011

Bridget Lair Becomes WINGS CEO

Mar 30, 2011

WINGS becomes the subject of a Four-year, $2.8 Million Grant

 mar.30.2011.png middle-crop.png    

The University of Virginia receives a $2.8 million grant from U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to perform 4-year impact study on WINGS. The gold standard of evaluation!

   middle-crop.png sep.1.2011.png 

Sep 1, 2011

WINGS receives a $1 Million Dollar Donation

Dec 1, 2011

3-Year Growth Plan Launch

 dec.1.2011.png middle-crop.png  

WINGS receives a $1 Million dollar gift to replicate the program in a new region.


WINGS launches a 3-year growth plan to map out projected progress to 2014-2015.

   middle-crop.png feb.1.2012.png 

Feb 1, 2012

WINGS Expands Beyond SC

Mar 1, 2012

Stage two of Formative Evaluation is Completed

 mar.1.2012.png middle-crop.png  

WINGS announces we're spreading our wings to Atlanta, GA.



   middle-crop.png aug.1.2012.png 

Aug 1, 2012

4-year Impact Study Began

Aug 1, 2012

WINGS Soars to Atlanta!

 aug.1.2012.two.png middle-crop.png    

WINGS opens two additional programs in metro Atlanta: S.L. Lewis Elementary School and Heritage Elementary School to total 6 programs across 2 states.

   middle-crop.png mar-8-2013.png 

Mar 8, 2013

Alumni staff party for 65+ people hosted by the Zoukis family

July 18, 2013

$2.5 Million Grant from EMCF!

 jul.18.2013.png middle-crop.png  



WINGS plans to use the grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to expand to 16 schools in four communities during the next three years.

   middle-crop.png aug.1.2013.png 

Aug 1, 2013

New Region - Lake City, SC

Nov, 2013

Hired ATL Executive Director, Denise Blake

 nov.2013.png middle-crop.png  

WINGS soars to rural Lake City, S.C. and makes a home in Main Street Elementary School to total 7 programs running across 3 regions.



   middle-crop.png grants.png 

Spring, 2014

Multi-year Grants Earned!

Spring, 2014

Liberty Fellowship Class

 table.png middle-crop.png  

WINGS proudly earned multi-year grants from The Wallace Foundation and the NoVo Foundation


WINGS CEO Bridget Laird accepted into the 2016 Liberty Fellowship Class

   middle-crop.png Aug.2014.png 

Aug, 2014

Grew from 2 to 4 Programs in Atlanta

Aug, 2014

50% Increase

 Aug.2014.2.png middle-crop.png  



WINGS went from 787 kids in 7 programs to 1,181 kids in 10 programs. This is a 50% increase in students.

   middle-crop.png Aug.2014.3.png 

Aug, 2014

Replicated and Opened One Program in Charlotte, NC

Aug, 2015

Kindred Kids Program Began

 aug.2015.png middle-crop.png  



Created Kindred Kids pen pal program born out of the tragic June 2015 Emanuel AME church shooting

   middle-crop.png nov-2015.png 

Nov, 2015

Hired Charlotte Executive Director, Annie Burton








WINGS for kids is by almost all measures a comparatively strong, performance-driven organization with a robust program model designed with extraordinary attention to detail. The program is managed and delivered with fidelity by the organization’s staff.
Michael Bailin
Former President of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Lifetime Board member Kate Huey and CEO Bridget Laird with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan