Keowee Springs

Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO) provides resources and funding for student-centered projects designed to support lifelong success for local children, many of whom are economically and socially challenged. Funded by Cliffs property owners and corporate sponsors and managed by a resident council of volunteers, Cliffs Residents Outreach is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Each Cliffs community has its own chapter and operates independently. Keowee Springs CRO supports Six Mile Elementary, Central Academy of the Arts Magnet Elementary, R.C. Edwards Middle and D.W. Daniel High Schools and their 3,000 students. The Springs CRO enlists Keowee Springs volunteers to engage in fundraising, mentoring and tutoring activities.

New Library Books at SME
Reading Time
Musical Instruments for All
New DWD Tech Support Space
New 3D Printer at RCE
RCE Poster Printer
Books at RCE
Tech Hub at DWD
Student Users at DWD Tech Hub
College Application Day at DWD
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Overview

Fundraising activities are conducted by the Springs CRO Advisory Council year-round.  These include special golf events, wine dinners, an annual cash campaign and online silent auction.  In the 2022-2023 school year, Springs CRO approved $86,000 to fund worthy educational projects.  Projects included the purchase of library books, media and instructional software, computer technology, music and art supplies, construction of an outdoor classroom, career counseling, swim lessons, support for an elementary after school program, two types of high school scholarships, student grief counseling and more.

Volunteer mentoring and tutoring are a significant portion of the value Springs CRO provides to the community. To date, Springs CRO has recruited 45 residents as mentors who help students to reach their potential in elementary, middle and high school. Academic tutoring was reactivated in the 2022-23 fiscal school year. Academic tutoring has focused on reading and math but was expanded to other areas of study at RC Edwards Middle and DW Daniel High School. CRO has enlisted 35 general volunteers to help with needs that arise throughout the year and is always looking for more help!

News

2023 Springs CRO Auction and Cash Campaign

Our 2023 Springs CRO Auction and Cash Campaign was a resounding success, more than doubling our revenues from last year! Thanks to all the donors, our corporate partners, auction bidders, live auction event attendees and Springs club staff who participated in this effort.  Auction proceeds net of event expenses totaled $141,424, a 127% increase over last year’s auction revenue.

The children and young adults of Six Mile Elementary, Central Academy of the Arts Magnet Elementary, R.C. Edwards Middle and D.W. Daniel High School will benefit greatly because of your generosity!

College Application Day

October 12th was College Application Day at Daniel and it was a huge success!  Participation records were set and included 184 students participating in the event.  Additionally, 241 applications are in progress and 161 applications have been submitted.

Students were in the Media Center working on applications before the school opened and work continued until after the last class ended.  For the first time, due to the record turn-out, they ran out of CRO funded pizzas and drinks!  We’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again!

Six Mile Soccer Returns!

Six Mile Recreation used Cliffs Springs CRO funding to purchase much needed soccer equipment. The rec center purchased a variety of equipment for the Six Mile Lions including goals, soccer balls, team benches, and a set of bleachers for the 4U and 6U divisions.  Additional funds helped purchase a new clock/scoreboard.

With CRO’s help the center was able to launch a program for this Fall and practices have started. There are currently about 50 children playing on one of seven teams including four teams in 4U division, two teams in 6U division, and one team in 8U division. 

Six Mile Recreation Board Chair Ryan Smith expressed his sincere thanks to the Springs CRO “for supporting the Six Mile Rec’s efforts in bringing soccer back to Six Mile.”

Springs CRO Wins Governor's Volunteer Award

Springs CRO (Cliffs Residents Outreach) is pleased to announce that it was unanimously
selected from a competitive pool of applicants for the 2023 South Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Award for Group or Family Service. Ultimately, only 6 organizations were chosen for an award in this category.

“The Governor’s Volunteer Awards are issued every year to celebrate the dedicated people who make South Carolina a better place to live and work. Everyone who volunteers in South
Carolina is a hero and deserving of recognition. For many of our dedicated volunteers thesimple act of being nominated for such a significant award is an honor in itself.”

Springs CRO was nominated by the Pickens YMCA Director of Mentoring, Ryan Smith, based upon its notable progress in increasing the number of mentors in our schools from 6 to 40 over the last year. One-fifth of all Pickens County mentors come from Springs! Springs CRO mentoring co-leads Jane Weddington and Patty Stephens, and all Springs CRO mentor volunteers, are to be commended for this achievement!

The Governor’s Volunteer Award (pictured here) was presented at a legislative reception on Wednesday, March 8 at the Columbia Museum of Art. The award event and reception were attended by Scott Wallace (Springs CRO Chair), Adam Senter (Springs CRO School Lead at RC Edwards and DW Daniel), Jane Weddington and Patty Stephens (Springs CRO Mentoring, Tutoring and Volunteering Co-Leads).

Springs CRO Sponsors Constructon of Outdoor Classroom at RCE

The vision and leadership of a team of Springs Residents – Dave Cooper, Gary Zacchio, Scott
Arbet and Adam Senter – conceived, planned and led construction of a novel outdoor classroom to meet the educational needs of RC Edwards Middle School (RCE).


The project was co-funded and implemented by Springs CRO and Brandon Smith, President of Green Space Outdoor Construction, a landscape company that does work at The Springs, in coordination with Thomas Preisig, RCE Principal. Springs CRO made a $7,500 donation toward the project, while Brandon Smith of Green Space provided the building materials at cost and donated much of the labor.


The classroom was constructed using sturdy, no-maintenance materials and designed to
accommodate wheelchairs. Led by Dave Cooper and Brandon Smith, work began in March and was completed in April 2023.


In addition to giving teachers the option of taking students outdoors to learn, the space will
accommodate small arts/music practices and performances, club meetings, MTSS small group sessions and many other activities in support of students.

Top Row: Dr. Seth Young, Assistant Superintendent for HR from the District office; Jessica Preisig, Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services (past Assistant Principal at RC Edwards Middle School); Dr. Danny Merck, Superintendent of Pickens County Schools; Brandon Smith, President Green Space Outdoor Construction; Dave Cooper; Adam Senter; Shannon Sharkey, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services (past Principal at DW Daniel High School) Bottom Row: Mary Cate Garrett, Assistant Principal/RC Edwards Middle School; 5 RCE students; Thomas Preisig, Principal at RC Edwards Middle School

Our Programs

Six Mile Elementary School

Reading Materials – Students received new titles not only in the Media Center, but also for the STEM Lab and the new K3 classrooms, enhancing their understanding of the human body, plumbing, electrical systems, fairy tales, folk tales, and biographies.

Music – Springs CRO funded a cart to store and transport musical instruments.

Art– Springs CRO funded supplies for all future Picassos, Klimts, Monets, Warhols and Pollocks.

Academic resources – Springs CRO provided Chromebooks to assist students with current learning processes. It also purchased a Classroom Alive Zookeeper 3D program for K-4, a zoo-themed learning experience where zoo animals interact with students as they learn the foundations for reading, writing, and math.

CRO continues to donate money to supplement teacher supplies and fund special projects.

Central Academy of the Arts (magnet elementary school)

Reading Materials – The school’s Media Center, which was rated below ‘At Risk’, was transformed with the addition of hundreds of new books and the elimination of old titles. These were culled from the collection by a group of Keowee Springs resident volunteers. The acquisition of new books is an effort to create lifelong learners and to begin raise the level of the Media Center to “Basic”.

Swimming Lessons – With funding from Springs CRO, all of the 2nd grade students, along with many of the Special Education students, learned to swim during a series of weekly lessons at the Central Rec pool.

R. C. Edwards Middle School

Media Center –Books of high interest and furniture enhancing the display of high-interest titles, new authors and award-winning books were added to RCE Media Center so that it may continue to operate as a hub of activity for the school, creating regular patrons and discerning readers.

Outdoor Classroom – Springs CRO partnered with Green Space Outdoor Construction, a landscape company that does work in The Springs, to build a high-quality outdoor classroom. The space accommodates full classes throughout the school day, along with small arts/music practices and performances, club meetings and other activities in support of students.

Instructional Software – CRO funded licenses for software that enables and enhances student learning in both remote and in-class settings. 

D.W. Daniel High School

Earned Scholarship Program – Springs CRO funds cumulative scholarships for cohorts of incoming 9th grade students assessed as “at risk” to complete high school. This year, Springs CRO funded a second cohort, the Class of 2026. The scholarships provide a near-term focus and incentive towards the longer-term goal of graduation. Students are identified by the R.C. Edwards administration and counseling team and discussed with D.W. Daniel cohorts. Placed in one homeroom under the supervision of a dedicated counselor or teacher, these roughly 20 students per cohort earn scholarship credits weekly for attendance, behavior, academic progress, etc. in $5 and $10 amounts. Credits accumulate for their eventual use upon graduation for post-secondary education and/or career certification and have the potential to represent as much as $2,000 for graduating seniors.

Graduate Scholarships –Springs CRO awarded $20,000 in scholarships to nine graduating seniors, enabling them to start post-secondary education/certifications. Most of the recipients were the first in their families to graduate from high school or to go to college.

Monthly Grief Group – CRO funds fast food lunches for roughly 15 students who have lost family members recently or faced other traumatic events.  Meetings are organized and led by a teacher and attended by school Counselors, along with school district specialists and outside counselors.

College Application Day event – Pizzas provided by CRO enticed a record number of students to complete college applications.  Counselors, teachers and volunteers were there to assist students with their applications.

Elementary After-School Program – Springs CRO provided funds for Six Mile Elementary students to attend an after-school program intended to produce a positive vision of D.W. Daniel High School, which they will eventually attend. This one week after-school program was provided by an administrator and a teacher at Daniel. Students rode a bus to the 90+ minute sessions, where they designed and raced Pinewood Derby style cars, designed and printed custom tee-shirts, designed and tested balsa wood bridges and other activities.

Career Cafe – Fueled by the belief that visions of possible careers should enhance students’ academic focus in the present, Springs CRO developed a new career program for DWD students. Working with the school Career Counselor, Keowee Springs volunteers developed and delivered lunch-time programs exposing students to different careers. Keowee Springs residents were the featured speakers at these events. Given its success, the school will expand the program from this year’s two sessions to eight sessions in 2023-2024.

Media Center – CRO purchased books and Maker Space boxes to upgrade the library offerings for specific class and teacher needs.

All Schools – Gift cards for use by Principals and school nurses, at their discretion, for an array of student needs, including personal hygiene and essential clothing items.

Mentoring, Tutoring and Volunteering

Mentoring – The Springs CRO Mentoring Program grew from 25 to 45 trained and approved mentors during the 2022-2023 school year, representing a 90% annual increase. The goal is to have 50 trained and active mentors by the end of the school year 2023–2024. The Springs community continues to have the largest number of active mentors across all the Cliffs communities and throughout the Pickens/Powdersville/Anderson YMCA. Nominated by the YMCA, The Springs CRO Mentoring Program was awarded the 2023 SC Governor’s Volunteer Award for Group or Family Service. Springs CRO was also selected for the YMCA Mentor 2022–2023 Synergistic Partner Award.

  • SME, RCE, and DWD all have trained mentor directors. They have also added administrative staff to continue growing their mentoring programs.
  • The schools have dedicated meeting places or classrooms to allow mentors and their kids to meet and talk one-on-one.

Watch the Springs CRO mentoring video

For more information about volunteering or mentoring, please contact Jane Weddington

Tutoring and Volunteering

  • The Springs Tutoring and Volunteering Program was active throughout the school year, meeting with kids at both Six Mile Elementary and RC Edwards multiple times per week and volunteering for various other needs as requested by the schools.
  • The program added Central Academy of The Arts to our volunteer program this year.
  • Our Tutoring and Volunteering Programs will support all the schools again during the 2023-2024 school year. We currently have 8 tutors and 30 to 35 volunteers (some are also mentors). Volunteers support the schools by responding to requests from the schools throughout the year. We currently have 30 to 35 volunteers, including many mentors that also support the schools by volunteering as requested by each school throughout the year. Additional Springs community members are getting involved as they become familiar with the CRO and its in-school programs via our ongoing social media updates, CRO in-person informational sessions, and one-on-one meetings with new members.
Presenting Corporate Partner

CRO is grateful for the ongoing generous support of our Corporate Partners which plays an important part in reaching our goals. Please support them if you are in need of their goods or join us in thanking them for their commitment to our mission!

Our Corporate Partners Make a Difference.

PLATINUM LEVEL
BRONZE LEVEL
Title Sponsor
For information about becoming a Corporate Partner, please contact Scott Wallace

Advisory Council

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