AmeriCorps partnership launches dropout prevention program

By Diane Palmer

middle school students displaying teamworkMiddle school students in five Lowcountry school districts will have new learning resources and encouragement to stay in school through a partnership between Clemson Extension and the federal AmeriCorps program.

Called Builders of Tomorrow, the initiative will engage students in school and community activities, build leadership skills and introduce them to potential career and educational opportunities.

“We are looking forward to having AmeriCorps in our community,” said Charlie Sweat, mayor of Walterboro. “The program will help with retention of students in our schools and prepare our young people for better jobs in the future.” Funded by an AmeriCorps grant, the program will be offered in Allendale County, Barnwell District 19, Colleton County, Dorchester District 4 and Hampton District 1.

 “This grant allows us to provide valuable learning resources to middle school students that will improve their outlook on learning and help them develop into good citizens and neighbors for our future,” said Alta Mae Marvin, program director. “We will be hiring 22 AmeriCorps members from our local counties to work with us in our schools.”

For information: Alta Mae Marvin, 843-549-2595, Ext. 126,