WINGS Staged to Soar

August marks the start of a new school year here in Charleston County, and there’s an excited buzz among our WINGS staff. Rightfully so—there have been a great number of positive changes to WINGS since school broke for summer, and like our hopes for our new and returning WINGS children, we feel we really have an opportunity to “fly high” this year if we stick to the path we’ve laid out for ourselves.

Following our Flight Plan

A few years ago we developed a “flight plan” for WINGS, and that plan identified a goal, among others, of reaching and equipping 600 kids with social and emotional smarts through the WINGS program by 2012/2013. This year we will continue full speed toward that goal, and we are happy to be reaching nearly 500 children already across our programs collectively.

How do these numbers stack up to years prior? This year we will add another 100 students and 12 WINGS staff members to our program thanks to the addition of a new WINGS program at James Simons Elementary. The opportunity to add James Simons to our roster came early this summer when WINGS was awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant—a very exciting win—to cover the operating costs there.

More good news came to WINGS this summer in the form of an AmeriCorps grant. WINGS was selected as an AmeriCorps partner and was bestowed the largest gift ever exchanged by the organization within the Charleston area. We’re especially thrilled, as our partnership with AmeriCorps offers us the opportunity to reward our hard-working WINGSLeaders—most of whom are college students—with the chance to add “AmeriCorps member” to their resume and also earn an educational stipend, which AmeriCorps awards to each of its members nationwide.

As we put this eNews together there is an excited energy in the air as our 50 WINGLeaders undergo official WINGS training. As WINGS continues to grow, and our WINGSLeaders take on new dual roles as WINGS staff and AmeriCorps members, it is encouraging to see the spirit of WINGS back at work and in full force—with everyone ready to soar into the new school year in a very big way.

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