Here We Grow Again!

Lookout Lake City, SC

We can't keep our mouths shut any longer: WINGS is growing to rural Lake City, S.C. and making a home in Main Street Elementary School.

We've always wanted to test our program model in the rural setting versus the urban setting we currently operate in. The rural environment offers a unique opportunity to work with children who lack exposure to innovative education programs like WINGS.

Since our organization is born and bred in South Carolina, we could not be more excited about our growth there!

With initial and substantial financial support from the 21st Century Community Learning Center (a US Department of Education grant), WINGS will serve 100 students grades 2-5 in rural Florence County, S.C.

Ten WINGSLeaders (college enrolled AmeriCorps members who serve at WINGS part-time) have been recruited from Francis Marion University and Darlington-Florence Tech. Jessica Lovins, former Program Director of Charleston's James Simons Elementary School, has moved to Lake City ready to spread her WINGS as Director there with Program Assistant Keyasia Gathers (former WINGSLeader who just graduated from Charleston Southern University) in-tow.

Photos taken by Lake City Program Director Jessica Lovins, in her new front "yard"

Read more at Education Week's Blog: Rural Education News and Insight on the Challenges and Policies affecting America's Rural Schools by clicking here.

This support from the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant comes on the heels of a $2.5 million federal grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation awarded to WINGS for kids in July.

CEO Bridget Laird remarked, "For years, people have questioned our focus on kids' emotional literacy, rather than academics. Now a growing body of research makes it clear that emotionally centered kids are better learners, higher achievers, more immune to peer pressure and become happier young adults. We're thrilled to see this support translate into our ability to give WINGS to more and more kids."

The sky's the limit!

During WINGSLeader training, each school's staff came up with a cheer. Here's what the staff at our newest program site in Lake City came up with for Main Street Elementary! We love their enthusiasm!




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