United Way of Pickens County named finalist for state award

By: Staff Report

PICKENS — Camp iRock has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2017 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award.

The annual award presented by the Riley Institute and South Carolina Future Minds celebrates education initiatives improving the lives of students across South Carolina.

Camp iRock is a free summer camp experience for below grade level readers in rising second through fourth grade that focuses on minimizing summer reading loss, promoting literacy, and improving attitudes about learning.

Camp iRock is a partnership between United Way of Pickens County, the Pickens County YMCA and the School District of Pickens County.

“We are so grateful and excited to be recognized for this innovative program that is making a measurable, positive difference in learning outcomes for Pickens County children,” said Julie Capaldi, president of United Way of Pickens County.

A committee of corporate leaders and education experts selected the finalists from more than 100 entries in the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse – a repository of resources that includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies, and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools.

As a finalist, Camp iRock will receive a small grant for enhancement of the program or consulting with other schools, districts and organizations interested in its replication.

The winner of the award will be announced by former two-term Governor of South Carolina and United States Secretary of Education Dick Riley at a celebration luncheon on Oct. 24, at 12:30 p.m., at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The award is named for Riley and his late wife, Ann “Tunky” Riley, a dedicated teacher and passionate advocate for quality public education.

“The finalists this year show that there are dedicated teachers in our public school system working every day, even after school and through the summer break, to improve the lives of students in South Carolina,” said Riley. “I am thrilled to honor and celebrate the effectiveness of these passionate educators and their programs with the WhatWorksSC award.”

The celebration luncheon is open to the public, and individual registration is $25.

For more information on the event and the other finalists, visit furman.edu/WWSC.

Staff Report