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, R.C. Edwards Middle and D.W. Daniel High Schools and their 2,700 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


Fundraising activities are conducted by the Springs Advisory Council year-round.  These include special golf events, wine dinners, an annual cash campaign and online silent auction.  In the 2021-22 school year, Springs CRO provided $160,000 to fund worthy, educational projects (up +42% vs. prior year).  Projects included the purchase of library books, media, instructional software, computer technology, musical instruments, furnishings for special activity spaces, 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 24 residents as mentors who help students to reach their potential in elementary, middle and high school. Academic tutoring, which was sidelined during Covid, will be reactivated in the 2022-23 fiscal school year. Academic tutoring has focused on reading and math; these will be expanded to other areas of study in the future. CRO is also seeking general volunteers to help with needs that arise throughout the year.


Springs CRO Wins Governor's Volunteer Award

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 – Six Mile Elementary students were the beneficiaries of hundreds of new books, plus Third Grade Fountas and Pinnell Classroom Guided Reading Collections.

Music – CRO funding provided sufficient musical instruments so that each student in Music class would have their own instrument.

Academic resources – CRO provided new STEM lab furniture, and both math and phonics manipulatives.

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

R. C. Edwards Middle School

Media Center – More than 250 new titles of high interest were added to the Media Center at RC Edwards Middle School in an effort to create lasting patrons and discerning readers.

Space Repurposing – CRO funding and matching grants from Federal Perkins Funding enabled RCE to convert and outfit 3,500 square feet of unused student locker space into flexible instruction and meeting space, including technology for remote classroom learning.  Available for use by all teachers and enabling new STEM and arts related offerings, the converted space also provides an expanded meeting area for mentoring and tutoring programs.

Instructional Software – CRO funded licenses for software that enables and enhances student learning in both remote and in-class settings.  Specific programs include: Edpuzzle, Padlet, Screencastify and WeVideo.

D.W. Daniel High School

Earned Scholarship Program – CRO funds cumulative scholarships for a cohort of incoming 9th grade students most likely to not complete high school.  The scholarships provide a near-term focus and incentive towards the longer-term goal of graduation. Students are identified by R.C. Edwards Middle School administrative and counseling team.  Placed in one homeroom under the supervision of the Career Development Counselor, these 23 students 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 – CRO awarded scholarships to six graduating seniors to enable them to start post-secondary education/certifications.  Three of the recipients are the first in their families to graduate from high school, and all six are the first 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 and Principal, 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.

Space Repurposing for Technology – CRO outfitted a rarely used school entry space with furniture for workspace and storage, establishing a “Genius Bar” to support and expedite the technology needs of students.  The project utilized matching grants from Federal Perkins Funding.  The Genius Bar enables higher usability of available technology for the student population. It also establishes a new graduation certification track for the students who serve their peers, enhancing their competitiveness for post-secondary education and employment opportunities.

Software license – Albert IO license for AP test preparation.

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

Chargers for Student Laptops – CRO funds Chromebook chargers that are not covered by the district’s technology insurance policy. These are expensive to replace when they go bad.

Mentoring, Tutoring and Volunteering

Mentoring – The Springs CRO Mentoring Program grew from 6 active mentors in 2021 to 25 trained and approved mentors as of July 31, 2022, representing a quadruple increase. The Springs now has the largest number of active mentors across all the Cliffs communities. Our goal is to have 40 trained and active mentors by the end of school year 2022-2023. All three schools have hired and trained new mentor directors. They are also deploying additional administrative staff to formalize/grow their mentoring programs. Some schools have dedicated classrooms so mentors and their kids to have a safe and private place to meet. In-school mentor facilities will now be upgraded with video equipment and computers. 

Tutoring – A refreshed Tutoring Program will be introduced in all three schools in the coming year. We will begin formalizing this program with the school tutoring teams throughout Fall 2022.  Each school will provide a schedule of tutoring needs for individual grades and subjects. 

Volunteering – Similar to tutoring, a Volunteer Program will be reestablished this Fall. Each school will provide CRO with a three-month needed volunteer calendar for school projects, career days and other school initiatives.


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 services, and join us in thanking them for their commitment to our mission!

Our Corporate Partners Make a Difference.

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

Springs CRO Advisory Council

For questions about current initiatives, please contact any of our Advisory Council Members.

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