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School District Five awarded grant focused on improving 4-year-old kindergarten quality

Irmo, SC - School District Five was awarded $57,500 as part of the South Carolina Community Block Grant for Education Pilot Program. The money was given to fund six initiatives throughout the state who are focused on improving children’s readiness for kindergarten by enhancing the quality of pre-kindergarten programs for four-year-old children.

This one-year block grant program is a matching grants initiative designed to encourage sustainable partnerships among South Carolina school districts and community groups. The General Assembly and Governor approved the grant in the state budget to improve children’s readiness for kindergarten. The goal of the project is to promote social-emotional readiness of 4K students from high-need environments, by equipping teachers and families with strategies and practices to improve social-emotional competencies.

This is the second year School District Five has been awarded the Community Block Grant. Last year, the money helped to deepen the partnership School District Five has with the University of South Carolina (UofSC) as part of the Professional Development School-District (PDS-D). The partnership began in 2018 with five schools. This year’s grant will provide the opportunity to expand to six schools in the district.

Grant funds will be used to expand the Pyramid Model, focusing on the social emotional environment of classrooms and how best to meet the needs of young learners.

“Including parent involvement and support in the grant is a key piece to this grant,” said School District Five Director of Elementary Education Tina McCaskill. “With six opportunities for parents to learn about ways to manage everyday situations with their children at home, several parents have commented on the effectiveness of the strategies learned and how much it has helped them consistently work with their child. I believe the effects of this grant will be felt over time and our students and families will benefit greatly!”

The grants committee is an independent group of educators and business leaders who review and make final award decisions.

Per a proviso in the state budget, the Executive Director of the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) is charged with establishing an independent grants committee composed of educators and business persons to evaluate the submitted grants.

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