The Orangeburg chapter of The Links Inc., an international, not-for-profit community service organization, is partnering with Mellichamp Elementary School in the DREAM Circle, an after-school program developed for fourth-grade girls.

This multi-faceted program is designed to achieve a holistic approach by stimulating the whole child -- mind, body and soul -- while providing opportunities for parental involvement.

Over the two-year partnership with Mellichamp Elementary, the program will focus on enhancing academic and social competencies; artistic and creative expression; and address health and wellness issues, as well as civic and cultural awareness, through various learning experiences with the support of a counsel of experts from varying fields of Childhood Education and Development.

Literacy development and improvement will also be an integral part of the program. The low literacy rate for children and adults continues to impact the quality of life for far too many families in the Orangeburg community. Given that fact, officials with The Links Inc. say they are excited to have the South Carolina State University Speech Pathology Department as a community partner to lead the literacy initiative.

Chapter President Pamela Dawson said, “The majority of our programs are developed as a result of the chapter seeking to respond to the local needs as they relate to our five Facet Programs: National Trends and Services; Services To Youth; The Arts; International Trends and Services; and Health and Human Services.”

Recognizing the need for literacy success coupled with the challenges that come with adolescence, the chapter's aim is to support and empower young girls with a chain of strength as they blossom from elementary to middle school, Dawson said.

“I believe this program will have a significant impact on these students,” she added.

Founded on the principles of friendship and service, The Links Inc. is one of the nation’s premier volunteer service organizations comprised of concerned, talented, influential women committed to strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation.

For decades, The Orangeburg Chapter has made significant contributions to Orangeburg and its surrounding communities.

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