DAMON L FORDHAM | permalink
JULY 28, 2014 -- Historically, South Carolina has long been a state that has struggled with the problem of illiteracy.
Charlie G. Williams, who served as South Carolinas superintendent of education from 1979 to 1991, often mentioned in his speeches that this is due in part to the states long history of poor education of its predominantly working-class citizens to maintain a large pool of cheap labor.
July 28, 1968, edition of the Charleston News and Courier, local
civil rights leader Esau Jenkins recalled how farmers would go to their
schools on Johns Island and casually pull children away from their lessons
to work in the fields.
with a group of volunteers in 1972, the TLA provides such services as
instruction in the GED (General Education Development) tests, which provide
students with high school equivalency diplomas, as well as basic literacy,
English as a second language, Work Keys Career Readiness, and basic computer
skills. Its mission statement reads in part, To help adults reverse
the cycle and impact of generational poverty and illiteracy through the
acquisition of vital life skills.
was understood, 28 inmates were able to obtain their GED diplomas during
my three year with the program at the detention center, With the newfound
respect for their own capabilities, many of these inmates were able to
leave the criminal lifestyle after their release while the GED and Work
Keys programs for inmates continues to this day.
Whether they are middle-aged or elderly people who are struggling with their pride to learn the lessons of literacy that they have missed in their youth or the younger students who were expelled from or dropped out of school for various reasons, the students are handled with patience and dignity. Upon training with TLA, many of the students go on to take their GED tests and they are given a yearly commencement ceremony during the summer months that is filled with pride for the students and their families.
As was said during a recent commencement ceremony to the graduates of TLAs GED and Work Keys programs, Your children, younger siblings or the youth of your neighborhoods can go to the movies during the summer to see the various superheroes on the screen, but when you achieve your dreams through the completion of these programs, you can be a real hero to them.
2014 -- Talented, internationally-respected travel writer Paul Theroux
has a terrifying verdict for poor, rural places in South Carolina: They
remind him of parts of eastern Africa.
other Deep South, with the same pride and with deep roots -- rural, struggling,
idyllic in places and mostly ignored -- was like a foreign country to
me. He outlined how he decided to travel the regions
rural backroads to discover it, just as he had done all over the world,
and to concentrate on the human architecture, in particular the
overlooked: the submerged fifth of Southerners at the bottom.
year ago, Theroux showed up in Allendale County, one of the poorest counties
in the country where about four in 10 people live below the federal poverty
level. As described in the article, he found decay, ruin and emptiness
along U.S. Highway 301, once a bustling north-south artery now dried up
thanks to Interstate 95. He described Allendale as the ghost
town on the ghost highway.
The presence of Indian shopkeepers, the heat, the tall dusty trees, the sight of plowed fields, the ruined motels and abandoned restaurants, the somnolence hanging over the town like a blight -- and even the intense sunshine was like a sinister aspect of that same blight -- all these features made it seem like a town in Zimbabwe.
But while Therouxs first impression of Allendale was dismal, he found hope when talking to people like former state Rep. Wilbur Cave who now runs Allendale County Alive. The nonprofit works to improve housing and the community.
years, the organization has helped people purchase better homes. It
also has purchased homes and upfitted them to increase the communitys
rental properties and develop a sustainable revenue stream to allow the
organization to continue. Allendale County Alive also provides microloans
to help local residents start businesses successfully and works to engage
officials and businesses to try to get more food stores in the area.
In an interview
last week, Cave said Theroux didnt shy away from the communitys
challenges in his two visits. What Therouxs article The
Soul of the South opened his eyes to, he said, was that it didnt
compare Allendale and its challenges to nearby Bamberg, Barnwell or Hampton
counties, or to other areas in the state. It viewed the area through
Therouxs lens as an experienced traveler of the world.
As bad as some of the facts are, wed like to think were not that bad, but that was the theme he felt.
magazine story, which also featured communities in Mississippi and Alabama,
Cave described how the whole area needed help, but if the state is to
change, its worst places have to change. Not all of those changes
will cost money, but he said money was the straw that stirs the
to be optimistic about the area pulling itself up by its bootstraps, despite
all of its challenges.
old adage is how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Cave
added, In spite of all of the negativity, were trying to do
some positive things here. We know that its tough sledding,
but were going to continue to do what we do.
such optimism in a place with so many problems is refreshing. But
unless our state starts seriously investing people and resources into
our poorest areas, such as the counties around Allendale County and a
similar area between Marion and Chesterfield counties, well stay
at the bottom, just like weve been since the Civil War.
its an election year. Listen closely to politicians who want
your vote. Youll be surprised how many of them blather on about
urban economic development, accountability and more. But do you ever
hear anything about the poverty that squeezes almost a million of our
keep ignoring poverty in South Carolina. Or do we just want to remain
at the bottom?
Article highlights gnarly issues for illumination
To the editor:
You article on discrimination has some interesting points. You could have deepened it by addressing the right to associate, which also has the right not to associate.
by definition discriminate. Must women's colleges be forced to accept
men or have their public money withheld until they do? Should the Knights
of Columbus be forced to enroll Buddhists and be censored if a Buddhist
is not allowed to be the top knight? Gnarly issues that need illumination.
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston
Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on Kaynard
Photography, a business run by contributing photographer Michael Kaynard
of West Ashley.
Now headquartered at 114 East Bay Street in the W. Hampton Brand Gallery across from Rainbow Row in the Charleston Historic District.
about your digital assets when planning
JULY 28, 2014 -- Where does everything else go? Andy Brack spoke at my Rotary club meeting last week about life and the fact that its value was not measured just by its longevity.
are so many things
to consider. We leave behind a lot of items of value -- our homes, our
cars, our bank accounts. These all have tangible value. What about my
digital assets? What happens to my Facebook page, my Picasa Web Albums,
my YouTube videos when I have been laid to rest? What happens to the value
Ive created in my online life?
Many of the companies like Facebook are reluctant to hand over their customers' private data. Privacy and the ability to protect it is an important yet potentially polarizing aspect. Many people may not want to share every aspect of their online lives. After someone passes away though, these accounts may be needed to solve financial issues or simply for sentimental reasons.
This dilemma and all of its complexities came to light when Karen Williams, who lives in Oregon, had to sue Facebook to get access to her 22-year-old sons account after he was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2006. It was not an easy process, but it was very important to Ms. Williams as it added a lot to memorialize her son.
There is a leading group of lawyers who contend that families should get immediate access to everything online unless it is otherwise directed in the will. The Uniform Law Commission whose purpose is to help standardize state laws endorsed the plan for digital assets. The plan allows for families to have access to, but not control of the deceaseds digital accounts. In order to become law, each state would have to adopt the legislation.
There is an opposing view coming from privacy activists. The Electronic Privacy Information Center would like to make it mandatory to get a judges approval for access. They contend that this is necessary not only to protect the owner of the accounts, but all the other people who communicated with the accounts.
On top of all these other complications, the simple solution of sharing my passwords with a trusted friend or family member is not technically ideal either. Anti-hacking laws and service agreements prohibit this type of access.
solution that is not being dismissed is the use of estate documents. It
is not one yet one of the normal items on my estate planning checklist,
but perhaps it should be. Who do I want to receive my digital asset when
Im gone? I can give clear directions regarding the accessibility
of my online assets in my estate documents, though I still need to be
careful. My will becomes public record. Ill have to figure out how
to disclose confidential login and password information without making
The jury is still out for those who pass with no instructions in their estate documents, but I now know that I will include better directions in my estate plan. When I die and they lay me to rest, I and all my lifes value will go to the place thats the best.
Ashley Traffic Circle project by Charleston County moves into a new phase
today as construction over more than a year seeks to improve traffic flow
at the Glenn McConnell Parkway and Bees Ferry Road Intersection. Construction
is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 11, 2015.
to county government, part of this project already exists, the next phase
will only construct the remaining three quarters which will include:
Learn more. Visit the official website for public meeting notices and up-to-date news and information about all Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax road projects. Or phone: (843) 202-6140.
Gibbes Museum of Art receives $250,000 federal grant
Gibbes Museum of Art last week received a $250,000 grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities to improve storage conditions for the museum's
collections, which focus on American art.
to a press release, storage furniture will be installed in a new collections
suite that is being created as part of the major renovation and expansion
of the museum, which will begin in the fall. The renovation and storage/study
suite will go far to help make this knowledge accessible to diverse audiences,
and add richness to the visitor experience.
We are thrilled to receive this wonderful recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities as the Gibbes Museum is at a defining moment in its history," said Zinnia Willits, director of Collections Administration and project manager for the grant. "The storage project is at the core of our renovation design to ensure long-term, energy-efficient, sustainable preservation upon the collections return.
Trident Breast Center gets national recognition
Trident Breast Care Center is the state's only facility to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence in the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program .
honor, according to parent organization Trident Health System, represents
a commitment by this breast center to provide the highest level of quality
breast health care to patients in their community. Trident Breast Care
Center is just one of 27 in the United States to achieve this level of
Living Home Cooking Basics
If you want a great cookbook, this is it. Its well-organized for the beginner, but contains enough information that even an experienced cook can find something new to learn. Fully a quarter of its 416 pages help you begin: From how to set up your kitchen with tools and equipment (cookware, bakeware, knives, gadgets, barware, etc.) to learning about ingredients (spices, sugars and salts, fats and oils, grains and beans, six categories of cheeses, all types of vegetables and fruits, poultry, seafood and meat, even wine types) to preparation instructions (including different types of chopping and how to prepare apples and artichokes to how to peel and seed a tomato).
The book includes more than 375 recipes. Nearly all include beautiful photographs and contain step-by-step instructions, beginning with the methods section where you can learn how to bake, boil, braise, fry, grill, roast, sauté and steam. The recipes section itself includes appetizers and beverages, breakfast and brunch, breads, sandwiches and soups, meats and poultry, fish and shellfish, side dishes, desserts, and sauces and condiments. There are subject and recipe indexes as well as metric equivalents, substitutions and sample menus. Throughout, youll find kitchen secrets, southern foodlore, and fix it tips. Home Cooking Basics would make a wonderful gift for someone starting out on his or her own, but would also be appreciated by anyone who enjoys making good food.
The full title is: "Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Southern Cooking: Great Food Made Simple"
Illiteracy is a problem that has bedeviled South Carolina for generations. While literacy rates among free white males during the colonial era are estimated to have been quite high, the situation did not persist into the nineteenth century. Historically, dismal support for public education in the state helped spawn a legacy of appalling rates of illiteracy.
By 1880, more than three-quarters of the black population and almost one-quarter of the white population were completely illiterate. These rates enabled Ben Tillman and his followers to use literacy qualifications in the 1890s to effectively disenfranchise African American voters. During that same decade, forty-five percent of the states population over the age of ten could neither read nor write. Illiteracy levels declined somewhat in the early twentieth century, but rates were still high enough at the start of World War II to render thousands of eligible black and white males unfit for military service. In 1948, the state superintendent of education estimated that in South Carolina 62 percent of blacks and eighteen percent of whites remained totally or functionally illiterate. Great improvements were made in the ensuing decades, however, and at the start of the 21st century South Carolinians were better educated and more literate than at any other time in their history. Nevertheless, factors persisted that placed the states literacy rates near the bottom in the United States.
Literacy development is both cultural and individual, and it involves a complex set of interrelated variables, including individual experiences, acquisition of skills, and social and economic conditions. Like learning in general, literacy is not acquired by studying or following a sequence of rules. The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) measures literacy by looking at three scales: prose literacy, document literacy, and quantitative literacy. Each scale reflects real-life literacy tasksfor example, finding information in texts, such as newspapers articles; completing forms, such as a Social Security card application; and interpreting charts and graphs, such as a table of employee benefits.
reported in 1998 that 25 percent of South Carolinas population was
at level 1 on the NALS literacy continuum (level 1 being the lowest of
levels 1 through 5). Furthermore 15 counties in South Carolina had 75
percent of the respective populations rated above level 1 literacy, while
12 counties had populations with 37 percent or more rated at level 1 literacy.
Level 1 skills include performances such as signing ones name, identifying
a country in a short article, locating the expiration date on a drivers
license, and totaling a bank deposit entry. It is important to emphasize
that level 1 ratings do not equate with illiteracy; rather, they indicate
adults who do not have the full range of economic, social, and personal
options open to Americans with higher levels of literacy skills.
In an effort to improve literacy in South Carolina, the State Department of Education in partnership with Gov. Jim Hodges created the Governors Institute of Reading. In June 1999, Hodges signed into law the First Steps to School Readiness initiative, which listed early-childhood and family literacy as primary goals. In December 1999, the first South Carolina Reading Summit brought literacy educators from all levelselementary, college, and state departmenttogether to explore how best to meet the literacy needs of children and teachers in South Carolina. In June 2002, the South Carolina Reads initiative set a three-dimensional approach to combat illiteracy: work with teachers to develop a knowledge base in literacy; work with the Early Childhood Office at the State Department of Education to implement an early literacy intervention program; and develop a model to facilitate family literacy. Initiatives such as these held the promise of creating a culture of literacy in South Carolina.
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6.409 | Monday, July 28, 2014
Only in Charleston
We recently ran across this list by writer Pam Grout on Huffington Post of five things you can't find anywhere else than Charleston. Thought you would enjoy.
1. A famous arts
festival started by a Pulitzer-prize winning composer who had never lived
there. (Spoleto Festival USA)
Approaching the outskirts of Allendale, I had a sight of doomsday, one of those visions that make the effort of travel worthwhile. It was a vision of ruin, of decay and utter emptiness ...
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(NEW) Health care film: 6 p.m., July 29, Main branch of Charleston County Library, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston. A free screening of "The Healthcare Movie" may change your mind about true universal health care in the U.S. After the film, Dr. Edward Weisbart, a family physician who retired in 2010 as chief medical officer for Express Scripts, will answer questions about the film. Currently, he chairs the St.Louis chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.
planning: 5:30 p.m., July 31, International Longshoremen's
Association Local 1422, 1142 Morrison Drive, Charleston. The City of Charleston
is hosting a public meeting to discuss recommendations for urban development
along the Morrison Drive corridor as part of planning for the upper peninsula.
Charleston: A Novel: 5 p.m., July 31, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street, Charleston. The shop will hold a book launch party for novelist Margaret Bradham Thornton on her new novel. More.
Be Brave Bunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Aug. 1, Cooper River Room, Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. The Center for Women will host its annual "Be Brave" celebration in honor of Women's Equality month. Online submissions are being taken through June 23 to honor five brave people. More.
Thursday Night Boogies: This new summer dance series is at the Mount Pleasant Pier. Dancers age 21 and older are invited to do dance starting at 6 p.m. on August 14. Learn more.
Hitchcock movie marathon: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Aug. 29, St. Andrews Regional Library, West Ashley. The library will offer the best of Alfred Hitchcock in this day-long marathon.
Author submissions sought: Through Sept. 1. Join a forum for self-published authors and readers, and submit family-friendly content to Steven Schwengel, Main Library, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC, 29401. Submissions must be family-friendly and include the author's name, phone number, email and postal addresses. Authors of approved submissions will be invited to present their works during 4- to 8-minute presentations September 25. This event is not a sales forum, but a literary exchange for authors and readers More: phone 843-805-6943.
Family movies at Freshfields Villages: 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Village Green at Freshfields Village near Kiawah Island. Starlight Cinema is a free outdoor movie series that offers top new releases and family classics. Coming soon: Muppets Most Wanted (July 30).
Yappy hour and more. Charleston County Parks will offer dog-friendly, after-work socials at James Island and Palmetto Islands county parks a dozen times over the summer. At James Island, Yappy Hour will be held starting at 4 p.m. with live music on Aug. 7, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. At Palmetto Islands, dogs, owners and musicians will appear with food trucks in Pups, Yups and Food Trucks on July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23. More.
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.
takes a virtual village