school to offer gifted kids the challenges they need
By STACEY LINDBERGH
Palmetto Scholars Academy
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
6, 2009 -- In August 2010, one school will deliver two "firsts"
in Lowcountry education. Palmetto Scholars Academy (PSA) will be
the first regional public school and the first gifted and talented
charter school. As one of only seven gifted and talented charter
schools in the nation, PSA will open with grades six through eight,
adding a higher grade each year until it encompasses a middle school
and a high school with 504 students total.
do we need a gifted and talented school in the Lowcountry? According
to the S.C. Department of Education, 4,063 children in Berkeley,
Charleston and Dorchester counties in grades six through eight are
state-identified as gifted and talented. Currently in the tri-county
area, there is only one middle school, Buist Academy, and one high
school, Academic Magnet High School, that are focused on advanced
learners. Both schools require Charleston County residency and have
long waiting lists.
Shelagh Gallagher, a nationally recognized leader in gifted and
talented curriculum, has been retained as PSA's curriculum consultant.
The curriculum at PSA, Dr. Gallagher states, "will move faster
through standard content and will also emphasize exploring information
in greater depth and complexity, with an emphasis on conceptual
reasoning and connecting intellectual knowledge with experiences
that bring abstract ideas to life."
Gallagher explains: "Like all other kids, gifted kids tend
to develop their skills in reasoning when they are challenged. The
difference between gifted kids and others is that it takes advanced
content to really challenge them. If all they ever get is the regular
curriculum, they may end up good at memorizing but relatively poor
at reasoning, and that's quite a waste, not only for the students
but for the rest of us as well. Gifted students I've known who attended
specialized schools like this have had a central role in the development
of the World Wide Web, have been influential in the field of sustainable
development and have discovered planets - not because we told them
they had to change the world, but because we helped them to fully
become who they wanted to be."
its mission, PSA students will engage with leading innovative organizations
in higher education, business, the arts and science. PSA will not
only educate its students, but plans are under way to establish
the school as a platform to serve the need of gifted and talented
students across the state through Summer Institutes at the school,
through opportunities for undergraduate and graduate level university
students to learn how to teach gifted and talented students, and
through research on gifted and talented education.
work lies ahead to prepare for the opening of PSA on Aug. 18, 2010.
Volunteers are needed on committees such as Grants Management, Fundraising,
Finance, Student Enrollment, Business Partnerships, and Faculty
Recruitment. An added benefit of participation is priority enrollment
for the children of charter committee members. Any student, regardless
of county of residency, may attend PSA. The only enrollment requirements
are eligibility for grade level and the desire for a rigorous academic
environment geared to advanced learners.
interested, please contact
me by email or sign up for our e-mail newsletters at http://www.palmettoscholarsacademy.org.
You will find participation fun and interesting, and your efforts
will benefit children and your community.
Gallagher notes, "When an 11-year-old is talented in basketball,
we don't tell him to stop playing because he's unusually good. We
find ways to put him with other kids who are equally talented and
then give him exposure to expert teachers and specialized equipment
so he can hone his raw talent into something remarkable. That's
the whole idea behind PSA, except the students we're targeting are
those with exceptional talent in academics instead of sports."
Lindbergh is a longtime advocate for advanced learners who has spearheaded
the effort to establish Palmetto Scholars Academy and to win approval
for the school from the board of the S.C. Public Charter School
District. The SCPCSD unanimously approved Palmetto Scholars Academy
on July 9.
contest has plenty of local flavor
ANN THRASH, editor
6, 2009 -- If Charleston were a Christmas cookie, would it be a
Warm Welcome, a Polite Palmetto with Sweet Tea Glaze, or a Christmas
on the Piazza? That was the decision facing the judges on Wednesday
in a local restaurant's Christmas Cookie Contest.
1886, the multiple-award-winning restaurant at the Wentworth Mansion
downtown, announced the cookie contest earlier this summer and invited
recipes and ideas from the community. The competition was a follow-up
to the success of a contest last year that asked participants to
come up with a distinctively Charleston ice cream. The winner was
Seersucker -- a vanilla ice cream base studded with Charleston Chews
candy, blueberries and honey-roasted peanuts. Yum!
cookie contest asked the culinary question, "If Charleston
were a Christmas cookie, what would it be?" A few dozen people
entered the contest, and the chefs at the restaurant narrowed the
field to three promising contenders. The cookie candidates had plenty
of Charleston touches, not just in their names, but in their ingredients
- benne seeds, pineapple and sweet tea, for example.
judging yesterday drew a couple of media types along with the contestants,
their family members and supporters. The audience got to enjoy samples
of each of the three cookies while the judges -- chef and cookbook
author Nathalie Dupree, Charleston Cookie Co. owner Judith Moore,
and WCBD Channel 2 anchorwoman Tara Lynn -- rated the cookies on
flavor, originality and how well they represented Charleston.
three finalists in the Circa 1886 Christmas Cookie Contest
were (from left) Warm Welcome Cookies, Polite Palmettos with
Sweet Tea Glaze, and Christmas on the Piazza. The winner,
Polite Palmettos, was baked in the shape of a palmetto for
the judges. (Photo by Ann Thrash)
the points were tallied and the last cookie crumbled, the winner
was Nona Pontiff, who came up with the Polite Palmettos with Sweet
Tea Glaze. It truly was a delicious cookie, with a texture like
light shortbread and that neat sweet tea glaze and benne seeds on
will receive a gift certificate for a dinner for four at Circa 1886,
and her cookie will be served as the holiday cookie on the restaurant's
dessert menu throughout December. The runners-up -- Kathy Smith's
Christmas on the Piazza Cookies and Courtney Clarkson's Warm Welcomes
- definitely did themselves proud. Both were first-rate, and I'm
glad I didn't have to pick just one winner.
talking with the judges after the contest, Pontiff described herself
as a "hobby baker," but the judges made it clear that
they thought her creation rose to a higher level. There was even
a suggestion that she enter the Pillsbury Bake-Off, which has a
first prize of $1 million.
I think it was the sweet tea glaze that put the winning cookie over
the top. Pontiff mentioned that she had tried several versions of
the glaze, including one made with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Spiked
Christmas cookies! Charlestonians would probably love them, but
be careful if you leave them for Santa- - he's driving, you know.
Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
do you think about the airlines, something else?
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public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows
us to bring CharlestonCurrents.com to you at no cost. This issue's
featured nonprofit partner is the Lowcountry Food Bank, which
was founded in 1983 as a clearinghouse for donated food items. The
Food Bank, which receives more than 10 million pounds of donated
food annually, seeks to feed the poor and hungry of the ten coastal
counties of South Carolina by soliciting and distributing healthy
food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor,
and to educate the public about the problems of and solutions to
domestic hunger. For more, visit the Food Bank online at: http://www.lowcountryfoodbank.org/.
announces 'Celebrate Charleston' focus for new season
2009-10 performance season for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra,
which begins next month, will focus on the Lowcountry's musical
landscape past and present with the theme "Celebrate Charleston,"
the CSO announced earlier this week. Performances will range "from
'Porgy and Bess' to the talent of the CSO's very own musicians,
to contemporary artists and composers whose work and performances
are inspired by this magical city we call home," said a statement
from the CSO.
Charleston" will feature 10 performances led by guest conductors
from around the world, many of whom have directed the CSO in years
past. The focus on home-grown and visiting talent - pianists, drummers,
horn players and vocalists, and performers from colleges and churches
- is designed to attract local audiences as well as visitors to
appreciate the city and rediscover the CSO.
main venues for the CSO will be the Galliard and Memminger auditoriums,
with a number of special events and series at local churches. Season
tickets are on sale now, and single tickets will be on sale beginning
Sept. 15. To buy tickets or learn more, go to http://www.charlestonsymphony.com.
of Hope' on sale, will support adult literacy
Trident Literacy Association's 2009 Christmas Ornament of Hope,
featuring artist Anne Worsham Richardson's painting "Pine Grosbeak,"
is now on sale to help support the organization's adult literacy
programs. Since 1991, Richardson has donated the use of one of her
paintings to South Carolina Literacy Volunteers to create an ornament
to benefit their efforts. Elizabeth Anne Neiman of The Charleston
Mint creates the exclusive interpretation from watercolor to metal.
Literacy offers the Ornament of Hope annually. Each ornament is
24k gold on solid brass with baked enameling. All ornaments include
a numbered certificate of authenticity, making them popular as collectibles.
Single ornaments are $15. A matted-and-framed version with a print
of the Anne Worsham Richardson painting that inspired the ornament
is available for $35 plus $5 postage and handling. Limited supplies
of previous years' ornaments are also available.
painting that inspired the ornament is particularly noteworthy because
it was featured on the cover of National Wildlife Magazine -- the
only work of art by a woman ever to grace the cover.
For information or to order ornaments, contact Trident Literacy
at 747-2223 or go to www.tridentlit.org.
Safe Home Expo to
offer info on energy, insurance, safety
This weekend's S.C. Safe Home Expo will offer a number of free programs
for local residents who want to learn more about hurricane preparedness,
energy efficiency and insurance along the coast.
expo runs Aug. 9 through Aug. 11 at the North Charleston Convention
Center. The Aug. 9 programs, which run from 1 pm. to 5 p.m., are
free to the public; programs on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 are for industry
Aug. 9 programs are: 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., green landscape techniques;
1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., insurance basics; 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., flood
insurance basics; 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., S.C. Safe Home program; 3
p.m. to 3:30 p.m., garage door retrofits; 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., available
tax incentives and Catastrophe Savings Accounts; 4 p.m. to 4:30
p.m., techniques for improving home energy efficiency; and 4:30
p.m. to 5 p.m., creating a healthy home. More
information is online.
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
restaurateur, author and businesswoman, Woods was born in Brooklyn,
New York, on February 2, 1926, the only child of Van and Julia Pressley.
Her father died three days later, and Sylvia and her mother moved
to Hemingway, South Carolina, to live with her maternal grandparents
on their thirty-five-acre farm. It was here that Woods learned to
cook traditional southern and African American food.
married Herbert Woods in Hemingway on January 18, 1944. They started
a family, which would eventually grow to include four children,
and she owned a beauty parlor. In 1950 the family moved to Harlem,
and in 1954 she began waiting tables at Johnson's Restaurant. Eight
years later she bought the eatery with a $20,000 loan from her mother,
who mortgaged the family farm to raise the money, and renamed it
became a popular neighborhood restaurant, but it was not until New
York magazine's food critic Gael Greene wrote a 1979 article dubbing
Woods "the queen of soul food" that the business gained
worldwide attention. Her simple southern dishes - many of which
were created by Hemingway native Ruth Gully, who ran the restaurant's
kitchen from 1975 until her death in 1995 - attracted throngs of
tourists each year and have spawned a multi-million-dollar empire,
Sylvia Woods Enterprises. The company includes the Harlem restaurant,
an Atlanta branch, cookbooks, and a successful line of packaged
food products sold in stores across the country.
the early twenty-first century Wood's four children ran the business,
and she divided her time between Hemingway and Harlem (Herbert Woods
died in June 2001). Her 1999 cookbook, "Sylvia's Family Soul
Food Cookbook," is an homage to her childhood in Hemingway,
a town that, she wrote, "has more great cooks per square inch
than you would find in most cooking schools."
Excerpted from the entry by Bruce Lane and Scott Wyatt. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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Report LLC. All rights reserved. CharlestonCurrents.com is published
every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261,
Charleston, SC 29413.
One of the
state's periodic "Sales Tax Holiday" weekends begins tomorrow.
Designed to give consumers a break (and the economy a boost) by
letting shoppers keep what they'd normally pay in sales taxes, the
tax holiday begins Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday at midnight.
Here are five questions and answers on the tax holiday from the
state Web site http://www.sctax.org. For a full list of items that
are and are not tax-free, go
the sales tax holiday apply to sales made by mail order, Internet
or similar retailers?
A: Yes, provided the item sold is one qualifying for the exemption
and the sale occurs during the three days of the sales tax holiday.
Q: How are
exchanges of items purchased during the holiday handled when returned
after the holiday?
A: If a customer purchases an exempt item during the holiday and
later exchanges the item for the same item (different size, color,
etc.), no additional tax will be due even if the exchange is made
after the sales tax holiday. However, if the customer returns the
item after the tax holiday and receives credit on the purchase of
a different item, the sales or use tax will apply to the newly purchased
the holiday apply to local sales and use taxes collected by the
department on behalf of counties that have imposed such taxes?
A: Yes, provided the item sold is one qualifying for the exemption
and the sale occurs during the three days of the holiday.
Q: Are delivery
charges subject to the tax during the holiday?
A: Most delivery charges are included in the tax base for the sales
tax and the use tax. If an item qualifies for the exemption under
the sales tax holiday, then all delivery charges associated with
that sale are exempt.
Q: Can retailers
elect not to participate in the holiday and collect the sales tax
from their customers on eligible items during the holiday?
A: No. Retailers may only pass on to their customers sales taxes
that are legally due.
who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30
years of his life."
Muhammad Ali (1942 - )
Fridays on Gallery Row: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 7, Broad
Street. The Broad Street Merchants Association sponsors this free
event, which includes fine art and refreshments in the boutiques,
art galleries and bodegas on Gallery Row. Participating merchants
include Ellis-Nicholson Gallery, Hamlet Fine Art, Edward Dare Gallery,
COCO VIVO, Mary Martin Fine Art, UTOPIA, Atmah Jas, Spencer
Galleries, Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art, Martin Gallery, SCOOP
Studios, Jakes, Blind Tiger and Oak Steak House. More info:
722-1944, by email here,
Skin Cancer Screening: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Splash
Zone Waterpark at James Island County Park, Riverland Drive, Charleston.
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission and dermatologists
from the MUSC Mobile Health Unit (a fully equipped doctor's office
on wheels) will offer a free skin cancer screenings. More skin cancer
info: MUSC Health Connection, 792-1414.
Ensemble Auditions: 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Aug. 8, Citadel
Square Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 342 Meeting St. Charleston
Symphony Orchestra's Spiritual Ensemble will hold voice-assessment
auditions for new volunteer members; singers whose voices are in
the lower ranges (tenor and bass) are especially needed. More
Lighthouse Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Coast Guard
Historic District site, 1815 I'On Ave., Sullivan's Island. Free
open house for the public to mark National Lighthouse Day. Lighthouse
grounds, quarters cupola and boathouse will be open to the public.
Because of safety concerns, only the base of the lighthouse will
be open. A Coast Guard representative will give a talk at 11 a.m.
about lighthouse maintenance. Refreshments will be served. More
on the Cooper: 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 8, Mount Pleasant
Pier at Memorial Park, foot of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant.
Shag under the stars at the new pier. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.,
provided by The Coppertones (a formally dressed six-piece ensemble
party band that plays classic R&B and beach music). Beverages
available for purchase on-site. Tickets: $8; only 800 tickets will
be sold and must be purchased at the event (no advance sales). Tickets
available in gift shop at pier beginning at 3 p.m. the day of the
event. More info: 795-4386.
the Bite Out of Sharks: Through Aug. 8, South Carolina Aquarium,
100 Aquarium Wharf, downtown. A weeklong celebration of all
things more dangerous than sharks during the Discovery
Channels Shark Week. Enter the aquarium through the mouth
of a great white shark, then explore the facts about sharks through
special displays and activities. Visitors can earn an O-fishal
Investigator certificate in a Mythbusters Mystery Hunt, enjoy
a shark-themed dive show, adopt a sand tiger shark and
more. More info: online
here or 577-FISH (3474).
Tryal of Major Stede Bonnet": 4:30 p.m. Saturdays through
Sept. 26, Old Powder Magazine, 79 Cumberland St., downtown.
A one-of-a-kind interactive theatrical event that brings to life
the story of "gentleman pirate" Stede Bonnet, who plied
his trade in the waters off Charleston in the early 1700s. The 40-minute
show was written and is performed by Rodney Lee Rogers of PURE Theatre.
Cost: $8 and $12. Tickets/info: 534-6169 or online
ONGOING AND SOON
Education Open House: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Continuing
Education Center (Building 910), Trident Technical College Main
Campus, 2001 Mabeline Road, North Charleston. The event is designed
to familiarize participants with TTC continuing-education courses
and they can provide training for a new career or personal enrichment.
Talk with course instructors, tour the facilities, register for
fall classes, learn about financial options, and enjoy refreshments
and prizes. More info: 574-6111.
Rucker Homegrown Concert: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, Family Circle
Tennis Center, Daniel Island. Rucker will offer a special concert
to help bring in donations of school supplies for needy local students.
Country music star Dierks Bentley will be among the special guests.
Fans are urged to bring school supplies to the concert to donate.
Tickets: $40 for floor or first-tier reserved seats; $32 for reserved
second-tier seats; $25 general admission third-tier seats. To purchase:
Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone (1-800-745-3000), local Publix outlets,
Family Circle Tennis Center ticket office, or online
7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Aug. 17, Daniel Island Club, Daniel Island.
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., will speak at a meeting of the Daniel
Island Neighborhood Association that is open to the public. Topics
will include economic development and jobs in South Carolina, as
well an update on whats going on in Washington. Cost: $12.50
(to cover breakfast). RSVP by Aug. 10 to Stacey
Green for the Girls II: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20,
Halls Chophouse, 434 King St. Green Drinks Charleston, Carolina's
Eco-Unit, and Halls Chophouse are throwing a second cocktail hour
to help fund some simple energy-efficiency upgrades and retrofits
to the historic building downtown that houses the Center for Women.
Donation of $10 (cash or check at door) includes food samples. There
will be a cash bar. More
or Burn Book Sale: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22, Village
Square Shopping Center, 1650 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. (formerly The
Map Room); sneak preview ($10-per-person admission) from 2 p.m.
to 6 p.m. Aug. 21. Event to benefit Trident Literacy Association.
Wide variety of books, CDs, DVDs and other electronic media will
be priced for quick sale; only cash or check will be accepted. Book
donations will be accepted at the sale site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
daily Aug. 17 to Aug. 20, or books can be dropped off at any Trident
Literacy location. More
info online or 747-2223.
in IT: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Tate Center,
College of Charleston, Room 207 and Gallery. The forum will explore
the challenges and opportunities for women in the IT industry with
a panel of local industry leaders and educators. An MIT Enterprise
Forum video from Technology Review's EmTech08 Conference will be
shown, featuring successful female entrepreneurs in the industry
with companies such as ZipCar, GoLoco, Ziggs.com and Daily Grommet.
Lunch and networking opportunities included. Registration (required):
$20 (includes lunch). More
Seining at Sullivan's: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28, Station
30, Sullivan's Island. The Station 30 area on Sullivan's Island
area has been a seining hotspot for generations. Join the experts
from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to catch and
discover a variety of marine critters at the first CCPRC seining
program on Sullivan's Island. A registered and paid chaperone is
required for participants ages 15 and under, and pre-registration
is required. Open to ages 6 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County residents,
$9 nonresidents. Registration/more
info, or 795-4FUN.
+ Food Launch Party: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3,
Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Barbecue
and beverages will be available, and the latest news about next
year's BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, including the lineup
of chefs and authors, will be announced. Entertainment by the Blue
Plantation Band. Tickets: $10 per person cash or check at the door,
with proceeds benefiting the festival's charitable efforts. Reserve
tickets by Aug. 31 by e-mailing
or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
lists of year