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The Blackbaud Fund Supports Summer Programming for Children of All Backgrounds and Capabilities

June 19, 2019 by CCF

Every summer, many parents across the Lowcountry enroll their children in camps to keep them active and learning throughout the summer. CCF’s Blackbaud Fund ensures that opportunity is given to children of all abilities and financial backgrounds.

The Blackbaud Fund awards grants to local organizations that serve youth with special needs or provide educational opportunities for underserved, disadvantaged, and/or minority children. This year, the fund awarded $62,260 to 11 organizations and nonprofits, including Charleston Urban Squash’s Kids On Point program, Lowcountry Orphan Relief and Pattison’s DREAM Academy.

student at aquarium, girl, crab, Blackbaud Fund

A Kids On Point student during last summer’s program.

Kids On Point brings children in low-income neighborhoods year-round academic, athletic and enrichment programming. They partner with 20 nonprofits to address the participation gap low-income kids face with out-of-school activities. Focusing on everything from STEM to local cultural education to health and wellness, they fight the summer learning loss that affects low-income children at a disproportionate rate.

We’re proud of Kids On Point’s success, measured based on evaluations through their partnership with The College of Charleston Afterschool and Summer Learning Institute: 80 percent of students achieve meaningful academic growth and the high school graduation rate is a perfect 100 percent.

Another organization maximizing the summer to turn around people’s lives is Lowcountry Orphan Relief’s Foster the Future Summer Camp. Partnering with local group homes and agencies, they support young people who are aging out of the system, preparing them for successful independent living. The work matters: One in four aged-out foster kids in South Carolina become either homeless or teen parents. Nearly 40 percent become incarcerated, and about one in three are unemployed by age 21.

Foster the Future aims to help them beat the odds and transition successfully to adulthood. During the three, week-long camp sessions at Trident Technical College, students will  participate in workshops, field trips and other enriching activities. For instance, a daily Teen U class teaches crucial skills like filling out FAFSAs, building a resume and managing money.

Finally, Pattison’s DREAM Academy offers comprehensive education and

DREAM Academy, Riverdogs game, Riverdogs mascot, baseball game

A member of the DREAM Academy at a Riverdogs game with the program in April.

therapy programs to children with multiple severe disabilities. The Therapeutic Summer Camp (TSC) is the only one of its kind in the area, and provides physical social and cultural enrichment to 50 severely disabled children. Without TSC, many of these children would spend the summer relatively inactive, negatively affecting their physical and psychological well-being.

The camp focuses on Community-Based Instruction (CBI), introducing real-life activities such as grocery store scanning, navigating public spaces with a wheelchair or using communication devices to order food. CBI programming helps campers master independent living skills while improving the surrounding community’s sensitivity toward those with different abilities. Last year, campers enjoyed trips to the South Carolina Aquarium and a Riverdogs game.

We are grateful for the long-standing partnership CCF shares with Blackbaud to improve the quality of life for so many children in our region.

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