The South Strand Optimist Club will officially join the ranks of Optimist, International at their next meeting, thanks to the efforts of supportive locals and kids.
“We started in June, so we’ve only had a couple of meetings,” said Marty Waltemyer, organizer of the local expansion. “The first couple of meetings were just to get the word out and that kind of thing.”
The motto of Optimist Club is “friends of youth,” which fits perfectly into Waltemyer’s plans for the organization.
“(The club will focus) basically on youths’ programs, that type of thing,” Waltemyer said. “The goal is just to recognize youth in the South Strand area, and we’ll also be involved in area schools.”
Programs will target kids from kindergarten into high school, and recognition will be based on grade level, a particular skill or talent, or service.
Anyone who wants to be a charter member must attend a monthly meeting and be able to provide the yearly due of $108 with a $35 initiation fee. The next meeting is Sept. 19 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Applewood House of Pancakes, 14361 Ocean Highway, Litchfield.
The club will also recognize individuals who serve and protect youth through their efforts, such as local rescue, fire EMS and law enforcement divisions, Waltemyer said.
For more information about the club, contact Waltemyer at 235-0671 or email email@example.com.
Literacy Initiative requests volunteers
In celebration of International Literacy Day, Georgetown County residents have the opportunity to boost literacy in a community where more than 25 percent of the population is functionally illiterate.
Residents are encouraged to volunteer, contribute financially or become and advocate for the Georgetown Literacy Initiative, said Sandy Bonner, member of GLI, in a news release.
Volunteers can teach dyslexic adults by attending training classes offered by GLI, which provides one-on-one lessons with a tutor. Residents can also volunteer with the English as a Second Language program.
Volunteers do no need a background in education to tutor, but must take the necessary training workshops, which requires a commitment of two to three hours per week.
For more information, call 520-0875. The office is located in The Meeting Place, 2921 Highmarket St., Georgetown.
St. Michael adds 3-year-old program
This school year, Saint Michael Catholic School in Murrells Inlet welcome a class of 3-year-old students for their very first half-day class.
The class, which runs from 7:45 to 11 a.m., exposes students to socialization, phonics, handwriting, and fine and gross motor development. Though it’s designed around fun activities, Principal Shauna Schubiger said “the focus of this class is academic based.”
“We are not trying to offer childcare or baby-sitting services,” Schubiger said, “but rather provide a quality education for students preparing for a full-day preschool program next year.”
Students participate in music, arts and crafts, outside play and hands-on activities daily. Schubiger describes the toddler-centric class as an abbreviated version of the school’s full-day preschool program.
“In this day and age, students are expected to enter kindergarten with a specific skill set, and we have designed our early childhood programs with these goals in mind,” Schubiger said.
The full-day program offers students an easy transition into kindergarten, Schubiger said. Daily participation in an elective, such as music, art, physical education and technology accustoms students to a normal school environment. Handwriting is also emphasized in the program, as well as phonemic awareness, so that students possess a foundation of literacy skills allowing them to read basic text.
St. Michael Catholic School is located at 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet and is open to children of all faiths from ages 3 to eighth grade. For more information, call 651-6795 or visit www.saintmichaelsc.com.
Contact CLAIRE BYUN at 626-0377 or follow her on Twitter @NeckNews.