FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN: May 7 - June 14, 2019

District 9: Johns and Wadmalaw Island Public Schools

District 9: Johns and Wadmalaw Island Public Schools

Kiawah Cares About Education

South Carolina is known to have one of the weakest public school systems in the nation. About 46% of students living on Johns or Wadmalaw islands matriculate out of our district to attend other schools. This indicates that our district needs to provide students with more effective educational opportunities, and more support in and out of the classroom. We've identified proven impactful programs that can address these needs with adequate funding.

The Kiawah Cares About Education fundraiser will support students in all five public schools for the 2019-2020 school year. This is the only major fundraiser for District 9 education. Our goal is to raise $225,000 of the over $400,000 needed to improve programs and support throughout our district.

We need the residents of Johns, Wadmalaw, Seabrook and Kiawah to unite in our commitment to a better future for our students.


Fuel Educational and Arts Programs and Provide Students and Teachers with the Support and Resources They Need to Succeed


Student Support

Kiawah Cares hopes to fund Communities In Schools student support specialists to work in each of the District 9 schools. The specialists work full-time to guide at-risk students to set behavior, attendance, and academic improvement goals, as well as connect them with outside resources ranging from mentors and counseling to basic need fulfillment. Stats prove these specialists increase the academic success of at-risk students.

"Recently displaced from her home and struggling to adjust to a new environment, Brianna needed a safe space to address her anxiety and combat her adult-sized barriers. With help from her CIS mentor, Brianna was able to get on track to graduate and plans to go on to attend a local university!" 


Arts Programs

Charleston Jazz and Soulfully Creative Kids provide a variety of music programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Some programs are in-school and some are extra-curricular, providing a crucial outlet for creative students.

All three elementary schools hope to incorporate a new Yo Art basic coding program for their students. Yo Art also offers other creative technology arts programs including photography, design and filmmaking.


Educational Programs

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM): The STEM program utilizes a hands-on curriculum that improves related test scores and provides students with the foundation to progress into an in-demand career field. Mt. Zion Elementary school is striving to launch the program for all grades in the 2019-2020 school year, impacting 280 students.

Literacy: Reading Partners and Begin with Books are powerful literacy programs for preschool and elementary students. These nonprofit programs need funding in order to maintain and expand within the Sea Islands.

Summer Programs: Summer learning programs are crucial to student success and help ensure children don't slip behind in their education. Kiawah Cares hopes to help fund summer learning programs, camps and student scholarships to support continued learning.


Teacher Support

On average, teachers spend $479 annually on classroom supplies, without reimbursement from schools. In the last few years, Kiawah Cares has raised money through a Adopt-A-Classroom program to provide teachers with the supplies they need. This fundraiser now includes and achieves Adopt-A-Classroom.

Kiawah Cares also hopes to provide financial support for continuing education opportunities for our local teachers.

Programs in Need of Support

With the Kiawah Cares About Education fundraising campaign, Kiawah Cares would like to contribute to the support of the programs below, as well as other worthy and proven educational programs.


Begin with Books is the Charleston County (SC) affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an international children's book distribution program, sending monthly books by mail free to babies and toddlers. Begin with Books ships over 4,900 books per month directly to the homes of babies and toddlers in the Charleston and Sea Islands area. Access to books and an early awareness of their value is proven to accelerate literacy and to speed the transition from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn, a pivotal factor in life-long opportunity and success.


The Charleston Jazz Academy provides musical experiences within the schools and scholarships to participate in student programs outside of school. Each year, Charleston Jazz also hosts students from Sea Islands elementary and middle schools to enjoy a free performance by the Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. Many of our Sea Islands students would never have the opportunity to participate in or enjoy music programs of this caliber, without opportunities through the Charleston Jazz Academy, which Kiawah Cares would like to support.


Most teachers end up purchasing critical classroom supplies with their own money. Historically, Kiawah Cares has conducted a very popular Adopt-A-Classroom fundraiser in August to provide resources needed by teachers and students. Now, Kiawah Cares is combining Adopt-A-Classroom into this single annual education fundraiser, to raise funds for classroom supplies before the school year begins.


Kiawah Cares would like to help fund a full-time Communities In Schools (CIS) student support specialist in all five schools to address academic and non-academic barriers for at-risk students. The specialists not only guide students to set behavior, attendance, and academic improvement goals, but also connect them with outside resources ranging from mentors and counseling to basic need fulfillment. It’s a more extensive approach than a school counselor is typically capable of providing.

99% of students with CIS support stay in school.

88% of students with CIS support meet or make progress towards their academic goals. These student support specialists are a powerful and crucial contributor to student success.


St. John’s high school students are able to take college level classes, that are counted towards both high school credit and college credit. Students could potentially graduate high school with an associate’s degree. Kiawah Cares would like to contribute to funding books to make this program attainable for St. John’s students.


Every fifth grade class at Frierson Elementary School plans to attend a trip to Washington D.C. to learn about the branches of government and visit important historical monuments, and every year this trip is a struggle for many students to afford. Annually, Kiawah Cares hosts a Beach Day at Kiawah’s beach for Mt. Zion’s fourth grade class to learn about local flora and fauna and to enjoy a fun day at the beach. Each year we discover some of the students have never visited the beach before, living just miles away. Kiawah Cares hopes to provide funding for educational field trips in our area schools. Field trips provide hands-on learning and are some of the most memorable and impactful opportunities for students.


Reading Partners works with under-resourced schools to engage volunteer reading partners to work one-on-one with students in third and fourth grades who struggle with reading. A volunteer will work with a student for 45 minutes twice a week, providing individualized reading support, following a structured, research-based curriculum. Kiawah Cares would like to help fund a coordinator for each of our three elementary schools, as well as support the summer reading program at each school, to increase literacy and reading comprehension within the Sea Islands.


Kiawah Cares hopes to help Mt. Zion Elementary School launch the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program for the 2019-2020 school year. Installing the lab room for STEM activities and funding the curriculum is a $160,000 start-up investment. This $160,000 will not only get the program up and running for this school year, but in perpetuity, as Charleston County is likely to fund any annual fees.

STEM will radically improve the educational opportunities for the 280 children in all grades at the school. Providing young students with the the hands-on STEM education would prepare them for a STEM career, which could radically improve their future.

STEM related jobs, like computer programming, informatics and engineering generate wages that average 93% above the national average wage, and roughly double the income of non-STEM occupations.

Learn more about this effort to launch STEM at Mt. Zion here.


Mt. Zion Elementary School has a garden which students are involved in maintaining. Learning how to grow vegetables, and understanding the science behind plant growth, provide important tools for children. Kiawah Cares would like to fund seeds, seedlings and garden tools for the school garden program to flourish.


Soulfully Creative Kids offers music programs for middle and high school students. Their lip-sync battles and performing arts “DREAMS” camp, provides a healthy outlet for creative students to express themselves. Kiawah Cares would like to help fund the DREAMS (Dance, Recording Arts, Education, Art, Music, Sports) summer camp.


Yo Art is committed to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps in Charleston’s public schools through transformative media arts and technology programs. With coding, photography, filmmaking and design, students are encouraged to engage in their learning through a creative and project-based 10-week curricula, which also reinforces a South Carolina core curriculum standard in science, social studies, or math. Kiawah Cares would like to provide funding to support Yo Art programs, and launch a beginning coding program, in the three Sea Islands elementary schools.


This one of two annual Kiawah Cares fundraisers. At the end of each year, Kiawah Cares also raises funds to provide humanitarian aid on the Sea Islands.