The Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club Foundation celebrated the presentation of its annual Angel Oak award at a dinner-dance held at the Seabrook Island Club on February 13. The Angel Oak Award recognizes a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the people or quality of life of Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Kiawah Island, and/or Seabrook Island. As a part of the award, the Exchange Club Foundation makes a $5,000 donation to a local charitable organization or organizations of the recipient’s choice.
The 2018 recipient is Mr. W. Allen Reed who created and manages the Angel Oak Summer Reading Program at Angel Oak Elementary School on John’s Island. In his remarks, Mr. Reed described how a combination of struggling students, the chronic teacher shortage, increased classroom size, and low funding levels led to underperformance in reading and math for students at Angel Oak Elementary. This was compounded by the learning loss associated with the summer break.
To date, over 300 students have participated in the program and the results have been impressive, with more than 80 percent of participating students improving their reading and math test scores. In 2018, 19 percent of participating students showed a greater than one-year improvement in their reading and math skills after completion of the program.
The Angel Oak Summer Reading program is an example of public and private sectors coming together to make a real impact on the community. Mr. Allen’s vision and passion are at the heart of the effort, and the primary reason for its success.
-Submitted by Thad Peterson
(Photo Credit: Live 5 News)