Classrooms in The T&D Region will get new desks and school supplies through donations announced Thursday by former state lawmaker Bakari Sellers and others.
“I am humbled to be able to give back to the schools that made me who I am today,” Sellers said during a press conference.
“It’s time we truly invest in education across South Carolina and provide more than a ‘minimally adequate’ education to our young people. More specifically, the students and educators in the rural parts of our state are suffering more than most. They are plagued with crumbling facilities and are bleeding qualified and willing teachers. Our children deserve better,” he said.
Sellers, Hope and Wade King and six superintendents gathered to announce the donation of 1,300 new desks to Bamberg County School District 2, Allendale 1, Hampton 1, Hampton 2 and Jasper 1.
Sellers also announced the donation of 20 teacher supply grants for $300 each to teachers in several districts, including Bamberg District 1 and Calhoun County School District. Other districts receiving the grants include Dorchester 4 and Clarendon 1 and 2. They were provided through a nominating process with local school principals.
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Hope and Wade King are educators and co-authors of the book, "The Wild Card." Hope is also the co-founder of the popular Get Your Teach On professional development conferences.
They were raised in South Carolina and lived here through college and their first teaching jobs.
"We are thrilled to be able to facilitate this donation of 1,300 desks to schools and students in South Carolina. We hope this will be the first of many projects that allow us to give back to our home state," Hope King said.
Wade King added, "We truly value the relationship we have with Bakari and believe that this partnership has the potential to impact change in the neglected communities, in particular the corridor of shame in South Carolina. This is just the beginning."
"Every child deserves to have the greatest opportunity for success. Partnerships like this allow us to create incredible learning environments for all students. It's our goal to provide as many schools and students as possible with the support they need for greatness,” he said.
The Opportunity Project South Carolina announced its efforts last December. Led by Sellers, a lawyer and CNN commentator, the organization aims to close the gaps plaguing South Carolina communities in quality-of-life areas including health care, education and technology.