|Issue 1.37 | Thursday, March 19, 2009 | Members of the Penguin Army|
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MARCH 19, 2009 -- Here is the scenario: a 20-year-old single mother with four children, no job, no high school diploma and no sustainable work experience. Her life is overwhelming and her future is uncertain, but she takes a giant step toward self-improvement by coming into a Trident Literacy Association site. She is aware that she can attain her GED with hard work, but also finds another great opportunity as a participant in a new grant program called Success Unlimited.
This grant, for students between the ages of 17 and 21, is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Commerce and has many components: literacy instruction, internships and job shadowing, WorkKeys instruction, community service opportunities, life skills and pre-employment training skills, and mentoring. There is a 12-month follow-up after the student's one-year commitment is complete. The grant offers a variety of tools and resources to its students that may have otherwise been unexplored.
In the program, students are paired with a mentor specifically chosen to complement their future career and educational goals. The mentors who volunteer with this program are so special! They come with so much world experience and knowledge and give of themselves to help these students along. Students also receive extraordinary academic support. They may work in self-directed fashion at their Trident Literacy Association site or one-on-one with tutors. They are gaining an extra bonus of computer skills. They also have the chance to earn WorkKeys certificates, an employee credentialing system of tests that scores and evaluates your ability to be work-ready.
Success Unlimited has many grant supporters and partners, such as Dress for Success and Elite Workforce Professionals, which provide their life-skills curriculum and pre-employment training. The Educational Opportunity Center through Trident Technical College assists in college exploration and options. Other companies and agencies, such as the Trident One Stop, S.C. Personal Pathways, Carolinas AGC, Charleston Water Systems, Roper Hospital, the Historic Charleston Foundation, and the Education Foundation have lent invaluable support by offering job shadowing, referrals and general support.
What Success Unlimited offers is the chance to enter the workplace or college with an advantage. The students who complete the program will be trained, educated and more self-aware. What more can a program participant in Success Unlimited ask for?! Everything is included for them to be able to succeed.
Trident Literacy's Success Unlimited is uniquely designed to meet the needs of these 17- to 21-year-old, at-risk youth by working with them to achieve their goals through inspiration, leadership and community resources. More information about Success Unlimited can be found at Trident Literacy's Web site, http://www.tridentlit.org or by calling 853-6594.
Jennifer Moxley is the Success Unlimited program manager for the Trident Literacy Association.
MARCH 19, 2009 -- Here's a little heads-up for all you parents who'll be taking the kids to see the new Penguin Planet exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium: Prepare to be asked about the dancing. Clint Ball, an aquarium senior biologist who's working with the penguins, says that was one of the first questions his daughter asked when she visited the exhibit: "Why aren't they dancing?" After all, that's what penguins do in the movies.
Whatever answer you come up with, take comfort in the fact that the penguins' pure cuteness will captivate the kids so quickly that they won't spend too much time analyzing your response. At yesterday's media preview of the exhibit, the aquarium's newest residents had guests of all ages charmed.
Penguin Planet, which opens to the public on Saturday, stars four Magellanic penguins that were born at Sea World in San Diego and are on loan from that facility for a year. They range in age from 2 to 16 years old, and they're all males. They don't have names but are assigned numbers for now; the aquarium staff can tell them apart by the colored zip tags on the birds' armbands.
At the media preview, a group of second-graders from Memminger Elementary had a chance to learn about what the penguins eat - mostly fish such as capelin, smelt or herring, and squid, along with some vitamin supplements - and the kids also got to make their own colorful armbands and see how their creations matched up with the armbands on the birds.
One of the highlights of the day for the kids was getting to watch Ball bring one of the penguins out of the exhibit area for a feeding in a box on the aquarium floor. (Once Penguin Planet's regular hours begin, visitors will be able to see the birds being fed inside their enclosure several times a day.) The kids were amazed to learn that the penguins, with an average weight of about 8 pounds, weighed more than the huge bald eagle perched in an enclosure right outside the entrance to the penguin area.
Ball also noted that penguins really are as messy as they're reported to be. "I can't sugar-coat it," he said. "You've got four large birds and they're eating fish all day, so it does get pretty messy back there."
The aquarium has gone the extra mile to make the exhibit fun for kids. At http://www.scaquarium.org/PenguinPlanet/default.html, there are photos of Waddle, a stuffed-penguin mascot, doing the tourist thing all around town (visiting a sweetgrass basketmaker's stand at the City Market, enjoying the fountain at Waterfront Park, etc.), and at http://www.whereswaddle.com, youngsters can sign up to be one of Waddle's Facebook friends or follow his adventures on Twitter.
If you haven't been to the aquarium in a while, Penguin Planet is the perfect opportunity to pay another visit -- so just figure out how you're going to answer that question about penguins dancing, then take the plunge and go.
Must-see TV on Sunday
If you're looking for some uplifting TV viewing over the weekend, you'll want to watch "A Man Named Pearl" on HGTV at 8 p.m. Sunday. It's the story of a Bishopville man named Pearl Fryar, a sharecropper's son who taught himself the art of creating topiaries and has become internationally known for the extraordinary garden he's created in one of South Carolina's poorest counties. HGTV's programming notes state, "Pearl has single-handedly created an amazing 3-1/2 acre garden from throwaway plants. In the process he has brought hope and racial reconciliation to his hometown. With decades' worth of stunning, lush topiaries, his garden is now a tourist destination, and he's an uplifting icon in his community." If you'd like to see a short but amazing trailer for the movie, go to http://www.amannamedpearl.com.
Ann Thrash is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, SC. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
Six artists who work in a variety of media have been named finalists for the 2009 Factor Prize, the Gibbes Museum of Art announced Wednesday. The award acknowledges an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. Artists who work in or who are from South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee or Virginia are eligible.
"We're delighted with the variety of artists who entered the contest this year," said Angela Mack, executive director and chief curator of the Gibbes. "The finalists represent a wide array of styles, subjects and approaches. Through the Factor Prize, the Gibbes continues its legacy of supporting working artists while honoring the talents of artists working in and from the South."
The finalists are Lonnie Holley, an Alabama artist who carves sandstone sculptures and creates found-object assemblages and acrylic paintings; Stephen Marc, a photographer who creates digitally manipulated montages that explore his Southern roots and interpret American history focused on the black experience; Ross McElwee, a Charlotte, N.C., filmmaker whose work includes "Bright Leaves," "Six O'Clock News" and "Sherman's March"; Kathryn Refi, a Georgia native and conceptual artist; Edward Rice, a North Augusta native and painter best known for stark depictions of architectural details; and Mike Smith, a photographer who has spent nearly 30 years photographing the rural landscape of East Tennessee.
The winner of the Factor Prize will be announced May 4. Nominations for the 2010 award have already started at http://www.factorprize.org. The Web site also serves as an archive of information about Southern artists that can be used by curators, collectors, academicians and the public.
County seeking nominees for Community Pride Awards
Community Pride of Charleston County is seeking nominations for the annual Community Pride Awards, which are presented to Charleston County residents who have shown a commitment to improving the environment. Individuals, groups, businesses, schools, agencies, municipalities and others who improve the community through beautification or other projects are eligible.
To nominate someone, go to http://www.communityprideinc.org. Criteria are listed and nomination forms are available on the Awards page. The deadline for nominations is March 31.
Free tax help available to low-, moderate-income families
Free Tax Preparation Day will be held this Saturday across the nation, including here in the Lowcountry. Trident United Way, the Trident Urban League and the Internal Revenue Service are offering help for low- and moderate-income families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The credit could be worth as much as $4,824 this year, but in order to receive the credit, families must file returns even if they don't owe taxes.
According to Trident United Way, the Lowcountry loses about $50 million a year because low- and moderate-income families fail to claim their EITC. Families earning as much as $42,000 may qualify for the tax credit, and that money can then be recycled into the local economy, providing a natural economic stimulus by boosting Lowcountry businesses. The average tri-county family receiving an EITC in 2008 got roughly $2,000. In the past five years, the free tax preparation program has brought some $6.5 million into the tri-county area through the EITC.
Free tax preparation is available throughout the three-county area. Information and a list of sites are at http://www.tuw.org/OurWork/Tax.htm.
Contractor, school team to recycle 60,000 pounds of goods
Complete Building Corp., a commercial general contractor in Charleston, and students at College Park Middle School have recycled more than 60,000 pounds of goods since October through a new environmental program, "Race to End Waste: Conservation Begins in the Classroom."
The contracting company established the project with the school through the company's employee-directed charitable giving program. The goal is to teach students, faculty and the community about conservation and sustainability.
Complete Building Corp. employees have been involved with the students throughout the school year by participating in career fairs and mentoring programs. The project will conclude on April 16 when CBC employees build a greenhouse for the students. Company officials hope to continue the program in the future by working with a new school each year.
For more information on the project, go to http://www.racetoendwaste.com.
Edmund Ravenel, a physician and naturalist, was born in Charleston on December 8, 1797, sixth of the nine children of the planter Daniel Ravenel and his wife, Catherine Prioleau. Little information exists on the early years and education of Ravenel, but it is known that he completed the medical program of the University of Pennsylvania and received the M.D. degree in 1819. Soon thereafter Ravenel established a medical practice in Charleston. On April 16, 1823, he married Charlotte Matilda Ford, who died three years later after giving birth to their only child. In 1829 Ravenel married Charlotte's half sister, Louisa Catherine Ford, with whom he had seven children.
After helping to establish the Medical College of South Carolina in 1824, Ravenel served as its professor of chemistry and pharmacy and, later, as dean. Following a controversy over control of the institution, Ravenel participated in the formation of the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in 1834 and served on its faculty until 1835, when he moved to a plantation called the Grove, north of Charleston on the Cooper River. Although he was a highly successful planter, Ravenel became better known for his work in natural history.
Initially interested in fish, Ravenel soon turned his attention to conchology (the study of mollusks) and, later, to paleontology. In due course, he amassed a huge collection of mollusk shells, and in 1834 he published a catalog, or list, of his specimens, which included more than seven hundred living and fossil species and contained the first description of the lettered olive (Oliva sayana).
Through exchanges, Ravenel also built a large collection of shells from elsewhere. By the 1840s he was collecting invertebrate marine fossils uncovered from marl beds on his plantation. Especially interested in fossil echinoderms, Ravenel discovered several species new to science. As he enhanced his reputation, he was called upon by some of the world's most noted scientists, including Charles Lyell and Louis Agassiz. Eventually, Ravenel's great collection went to the Charleston Museum, and it continues to be an important source for modern malacologists.
Meanwhile, Ravenel continued to practice medicine, mainly during the summers when he was at his home on Sullivan's Island. He died in Charleston on July 27, 1871, from injuries received from a fall down a staircase in his home.
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Bone up on your penguin particulars before heading over to the S.C. Aquarium's new exhibit, "Penguin Planet," with these five facts about the birds that are here in Charleston. Read more about the exhibit in Ann's column below.
"Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries."
CALENDAR: THIS WEEK
Nature Photography Workshop: March 18-March 21. Through the Charleston Center for Photography, nature photographer Kenny McKeithan will lead a workshop called "Nature of the Lowcountry." Participants will travel around the greater Charleston area photographing various sites. Sessions include hands-on instruction for each student along with critiques. Cost: $300. Details/registration: http://www.ccforp.org or 577-0647.
Human-Resources Workshop: 7:30 a.m. to noon March 19, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. "Tough Economic Times Never Last, Resilient Companies Do!" is a human-resources workshop to teach businesses about organization design, proper and legal employment practices, new labor-related legislation and the impact of changes in government leadership. Cost: $95 for chamber members, $125 for nonmembers. Details/registration.
Small Business Fair: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 19, Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. For owners of small businesses or those thinking of starting a business, the fair offers free workshops, an exhibition hall with vendors, tours of the library's business resource center, and professional counseling that focuses on low-cost ideas to help businesses run more efficiently and attract more income. More info: http://www.ccpl.org or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Charleston Foundation Festival of Houses and Gardens: Ongoing March
19 through April 18, various sites. Tours feature the interiors
and gardens of approximately 150 historic private homes in 10 colonial
and antebellum neighborhoods during the peak of the city's springtime
blooms. Other events include Plantation Picnics at Drayton Hall Plantation,
daily walking tours through the Old and Historic District, "Eat and
Run" luncheons, harbor tours, book signings, etc. Proceeds benefit
the work of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Tickets/more info: 723-1623
or by clicking
Penguins 'n' Pajamas Family Sleepover: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. March 20, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Sleep with the penguins at the aquarium on the night that the new Penguin Planet exhibit opens. Family sleepover will offer special chances to watch the penguins dive underwater, learn about penguin colonies and discover what makes them march. One adult required per two children attending the event. Reservations and advance payment required. Cost: $30 per member child, $40 per member adult; $40 and $50 for nonmember child and adult, respectively. Reservations: 577-3474. More info.
BBQ & Brew Festival: March 20 and March 21, Prospect
Hill Plantation, Edisto Island. Sponsored by the Olde Charlestowne Sertoma
Club as a fundraiser for charities. Events begin with the Brew-A-Stew
Contest at 6 p.m. March 20, in which cooking teams will serve a stew,
soup or chowder. Gate price ($10 adults, $5 ages 4-7, free for age 3 and
under) includes all you can eat. Evening ends with fireworks. On March
21, gates open at 11 a.m. for guests to spend the day on the banks of
the Edisto tasting all the cooking teams' barbecues. Gate price same as
above; once inside, buy tickets for $1 each to get barbecue samples and
drinks. More info: 766-5576 or at this
Mom to Mom Sale: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 21, National Guard Armory, 245 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant. Sponsored by three Mount Pleasant MOMS clubs (Moms Offering Moms Support), the sale will offer new and gently used children's, baby and maternity items from 80 different consigners. Ten percent of proceeds will go to Windwood Farms, a local group home for boys ages 5 to 16 who have been removed from their homes because of unstable family situations. Cost: $1 entry fee for sale. Details.
Stiletto Stampede: 8 a.m. March 21, Houston Northcutt Boulevard near Whole Foods, Mount Pleasant. An unconventional 100-yard dash in which participants must wear 3-inch heels which must be attached at the finish line. First prize is $10,000; there is also a $1,000 prize for best costume. Event benefits MUSC's Children's Hospital. Registration: $30; must register online by March 18. More info.
Walk for Water: 9 a.m. March 21, Cannon Park, downtown Charleston. Join Water Missions International for an educational, 3.5-mile walk inspired by the experience of women and children who are responsible for fetching water for their families every day. Walkers are encouraged to form teams and recruit as many supporters as possible. After the walk, enjoy refreshments and family-oriented activities and entertainment. More info.
Mount Pleasant Arts Festival: Noon to 4 p.m. March 21, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. Festival is sponsored jointly by the town and Towne Centre to celebrate the arts in Mount Pleasant. Features live entertainment, performing arts, a juried art exhibit, Mount Pleasant Artists Guild entries, roving entertainment, games and activities for kids. Free admission and parking. More info: 884-8517.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Film Series on Jim Crow: 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, March 10-April 4, Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. In conjunction with the exhibit "From Slave to Sharecropper: African Americans in the Lowcountry after the Civil War," the museum will host a four-part documentary film series, "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow." The Peabody Award-winning documentary, offers a comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Cost: Free with general museum admission of $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12. For details on specific shows and schedules, call 722-2996 or go here online.
Old St. Andrew's Tea Room: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, March 23 to April 4, Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2604 Ashley River Road. Tea room features local favorites for lunch and an array of homemade desserts. Proceeds benefit the mission and ministry programs of the Episcopal Church Women of Old St. Andrew's and the church's Preservation Fund. More info.
Economic Outlook Conference: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 26, Charleston Place Hotel. The Charleston Metro Chamber's Annual Economic Outlook Conference and Luncheon includes the 18- to 24-month forecast for the key economic sectors of the region. Keynote speaker Jeffrey M. Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, will present the views of the Federal Reserve on the state of the national recovery and the outlook for future economic conditions. Also speaking will be College of Charleston President P. George Benson, who will speak about the challenges facing South Carolina and our ability to compete in the global economy. Cost: $95 for Chamber members, $125 for nonmembers. Details/registration.
Women in Business Conference: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27, Francis Marion Hotel, corner of King and Calhoun streets, downtown. Sponsored by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Women, the fourth annual conference includes workshops, speed networking, lunch and a fashion show featuring career wear. Cost: $100. Registration/more info.
Garden Club of Charleston House and Garden Tours: 2-5 p.m. March 27 and March 28, various sites downtown. Tours of historic homes and gardens, including the Heyward-Washington House garden, whose parterre is planted only with flowers and shrubs known in the city in 1791. Proceeds benefit ongoing projects of the Garden Club of Charleston, including maintaining the gardens at the Joseph Manigault House, the Heyward-Washington House, the Gateway Walk and the Healing Garden at MUSC. More info: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet Fest: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 28 and noon to 4 p.m. March 29, Palmetto Islands County Park, Mount Pleasant. Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's annual pet event expands to two days this year. Dock diving will be featured for the first time, along with past fest favorites such as Lowcountry Dog magazine's "cover model contest," a dog show, Frisbee dogs, a microchipping clinic and several dog contests. Cost: $5 or three Greenbax for adults, per day; free for kids age 12 or younger, leashed pets and Gold Passholders. More info or 795-4FUN.
(NEW) Palm Sunday Spirituals: 5 p.m. April 5, Citadel Square Baptist Church, 328 Meeting St., downtown. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble will repeat its recent sold-out concert, which featured 35 vocalists from the CSO Gospel Choir performing traditional African-American spirituals. The performance will highlight the importance of preserving the legacy of the spiritual and its significance to the Lowcountry. Tickets: $10; available at the Gaillard Auditorium Box Office, 77 Calhoun St., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or one hour before the performance.
Founders' Day: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, 1500 Old Towne Road, west of the Ashley. Celebrate the 339th anniversary of the "Birth of the Carolinas" during Founders' Day. Living-history programs, demonstrations of the firing of black powder cannons and muskets, re-enactments and other activities showing how Charleston's first English settlers lived in 1670. Cost: $5 adults, $3 ages 6-15, $3.25 for S.C. seniors or disabled. Details are online.
"Run Forrest Run 5K": 4:15 p.m. April 11, beginning at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Sponsored by the Charleston RiverDogs, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Coburg Dairy, the race is a fundraiser for the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC. The race finishes at home plate, where runners are greeted by the RiverDogs' players before the start of that evening's game against the Rome Braves. Registration: $25 if received by March 27 (includes T-shirt, one ticket to baseball game and post-race party with dinner from Bubba Gump's); $30 after March 27. Registration forms available at the RiverDogs Box Office at Riley Park, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Extra Mile Running Shop and online at www.riverdogs.com or www.active.com.
In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
New local music CD
to old clunker
know you're from...