As you likely know, South Carolina was recently ranked 50th in the nation in education by US News. Too many of our state’s schools are not preparing students for what lies ahead—and this is particularly true for African American students. Charleston is ground zero for this issue, which is why we chose to start a parent advocacy group in the city earlier this year to give parents a stronger voice for change.

On June 6, Charleston RISE was officially unveiled as 12 participants graduated from the first 20-week portion of the program. They are now empowered to reverse the trajectory of the schools that have been failing to prepare too many Charleston students for successful futures.

Charleston RISE is special because it takes parents who already care deeply about improving neighborhood schools and connects them with each other. Each parent advocate has a unique perspective and they have their own goals for bettering schools—but they all believe schools need to be improved NOW! Their passion is inspiring.

Take a look at coverage by Charleston’s ABC News 4 of Tuesday night’s graduation. It’s a great inside look at Charleston RISE and the participants who are ready to make change a reality. Meanwhile, follow everything that RISE is doing in the community – and get engaged yourself – by liking us on Facebook.

The Charleston RISE graduates will remain involved in the fall as they begin the community advocacy portion of the program. We also want to have another class of new participants begin the program in August. And we are always open to considering launching similar advocacy programs in other communities in our state where the need exists and the passion is strong. But it takes resources to provide these programs, so please consider supporting this program with a gift here.


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