PICKENS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CRO has provided support for this elementary school since 2016, following the closure of Holly Springs Elementary School. To understand the needs and opportunities at this elementary school it is helpful to understand a little about the student body:
- 556 Students in Pre-K through 5th Grade
- 70% living below the poverty line
- 25:1 Teacher Ratio
- 16% of students have a disability
- 7.7% of students are in gifted and talented programs
- Pickens Elementary serves two meals a day to a large number of students and also serves as a summer location for meals.
Examples of CRO Assistance
- Emergency assistance for an entire family that was dealing with an infestation of lice both personally and in their home
- Field Trip scholarships for gifted students to attend an annual academic field trip
- Funding for several students to attend a summer academic camp
HAGOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
CRO extended support to this second elementary school in 2018. Similar to Pickens Elementary School, this Title I school’s student body is composed of:
- 485 Students in Pre-K through 5th Grade
- 75% living below the poverty line
- 20:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
- 6.5% of students in gifted and talented programs
- A majority of the students get two of their meals each day from the schools, including during the summer.
Examples of CRO assistance
- School Supplies so no student starts without
- A new washer & dryer (accidents happen)
- Equipment to set up an additional 2nd grade classroom
- Financial aid for a struggling single mother of two who could not pay her electric bill
For the last 4 years, the Pickens County United Way in partnership with the Pickens County School District and the YMCA has conducted a successful summer academic camp at the elementary school level. The program focuses on preventing the “summer slide” and helping rising 1st through 4th graders who could use a boost to be at grade-level when school starts.
The students are nominated by teachers to attend this free, high-energy and FUN summer academic program for 8 weeks. A program that started with 4th graders has been extended to a lower grade each year. Now, fewer 4th graders are needing the extra assistance from Camp iRock.
CRO provides financial support and in 2020 provided books for each of the campers since the camp was virtual with online instruction and at home packets. Campers had the option of attending the camp in-person for the last two weeks.
PICKENS COUNTY LIBRARY OUTREACH
The Pickens County Library System has many outreach programs but lacked a way to deliver them. Pickens County is the only county in the area that does not have a mobile library capability. As our school principals know all too well, access isn’t just a lack of transportation. Although Pickens County does have limited public transportation, some of our students are transient – moving among schools if not school districts – as a result of family circumstances. While an outreach vehicle won’t fix the transient issue, it does provide a way for a child to continue to engage in literacy programs even if they are temporarily living with another family member. The Vineyards CRO has provided 100% of the funding required to secure, customize and launch a Library Outreach Vehicle. Much more than simply “books-on-wheels”, the outreach vehicle enables the library to reach children where they reside and deliver literacy programs as well as critical health and wellness education.
Once a year, Vineyards’ residents volunteer to be a guardian angel and provide a little holiday happiness for local students and their families who otherwise might go without.
Dozens of childrens are selected by the two elementary school counselors. Based on a child profile provided by the schools, each Angel shops for new clothing and a special toy to brighten the holiday of a special child.