Awesome Opportunites and Victories
– Bridget Laird
Chief Executive Officer
In my 22 years with WINGS, this one was UNPRECEDENTED. The 20-21 academic year served up new challenges for our kids, families, schools, and the world around us. But, we made it! So as we say “so-long” to this past year, with open arms we welcome what’s on the horizon: amazing opportunities and growth in new, different ways.
- Our direct service locations in Atlanta, Charleston, and Columbia are returning to our WINGS roots and are currently hosting summer camps. With teachers and administrators at each school, we will be working hard to bridge the learning loss that widened over the past year.
- In BIG NEWS, we have been selected by the South Carolina Department of Education (DOE) to replicate our afterschool model across the state of South Carolina! This will begin in Fall 2021 with a pilot at five schools selected in partnership with the DOE.
- As an organization – and one that serves and employs predominantly People of Color – we did not turn away from the national reckoning and awakening that erupted this past summer. Instead, WINGS embraced this teachable moment and created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative for ALL employees within our organization. We started simple: learning. For many of the White employees within WINGS, a steep learning curve exists; for all employees, DEI has provided opportunities to listen, reflect, and do better. We have also begun to re-examine our program curriculum to ensure it is culturally responsive and representative.
- We can’t wait to celebrate our 25th year of serving under-resourced kids in the Lowcountry and beyond this year! Planning is underway, stay tuned for how we’re commemorating this milestone!
- And last but not least, we welcomed our first WINGS student alum to our Board of Directors. What better way to turn 25 than with a WINGS baby coming home!