School briefs for July 27th-August 2nd

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United Way collecting school supplies 

Women United of the United Way of the Lowcountry is coordinating Operation Backpack again this year to help more than 435 students at six elementary schools in Beaufort and Jasper counties prepare for the school year. 

This program will provide students with a new backpack filled with school supplies and uniforms. 

Operation Backpack aims to fill the gap and help students who are not served by other agencies by working with local guidance counselors and social workers to identify children needing school supplies at Hardeeville Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary, Ridgeland Elementary, Shanklin Elementary, St. Helena Elementary and Whale Branch Elementary.  

The United Way of the Lowcountry is collecting school supplies for Operation Backpack through Friday, July 29. 

The supplies include:

• Pocket folders (two pockets)

• Crayola washable markers

• #2 pencils (box of 12 count)

• Pencil bag (with three holes to fit into binder)

• Pencil sharpener

• Ruler (12 inch, clear if possible)

• Scissors (5 inch)

• Ear buds

• Glue sticks

• Composition notebook (marble)

• Index cards

• Three-ring binder (1 inch or 1 1/2 inch)

• Highlighter (yellow)

• Dividers for binders

• Hand sanitizer

• Box of facial tissue

• Backpack (standard size, no wheels)

• Gift cards (Old Navy and Walmart to purchase uniform shirts)

Donation boxes have been placed at numerous locations throughout the Lowcountry including:  

• Beaufort Fire Station, 135 Ribaut Road, Beaufort

• Beaufort Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, 6 Snake Road, Okatie

• Lowcountry Insurance, 80 Lady’s Island Drive, Lady’s Island

• United Way of the Lowcountry offices at 2266 Boundary St. in Beaufort; 10 Buckingham Plantation Drive, Suite D, in Bluffton; and 1509 Grays Highway in Ridgeland

• Walmart (Beaufort Store), 350 Robert Smalls Parkway

Gift cards and checks should be mailed to United Way of the Lowcountry, P.O. Box 202, Beaufort, SC  29901.

(Note:  Checks need to be made out to United Way of the Lowcountry with “Operation Backpack” in the memo)

For more information, visit; or contact Jaime Dailey-Vergara at or call 843-982-3040.  

Board of Education elects new officers

From left are Geri Kinton, Earl Campbell and David Striebinger. Photo provided.
From left are Geri Kinton, Earl Campbell and David Striebinger. Photo provided.

The Beaufort County Board of Education voted recently to elevate Vice Chair Earl Campbell to the chairmanship, replacing Patricia Felton-Montgomery, who resigned from the board last month.

Secretary Geri Kinton was elected vice chair, and board member David Striebinger was elected secretary.  

The three officers’ terms will run through the next scheduled officer elections in January 2019.

Campbell’s 27 years of service on the board make him its longest-serving current member. He served in the U.S. Army, including two tours in Vietnam as a combat medic, and earned his GED while in the Army.  

After retiring from the service, he returned to Beaufort and attended the Technical College of the Lowcountry and the University of South Carolina Beaufort to study business and criminal justice.  

After college, he worked with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and later with a home construction company.

Chinese students visiting Bridges Prep

A group of 20 Chinese students and three adult chaperones from Wenzhou High School, outside of Shanghai, are visiting Bridges Prep the week of July 22-29. 

The group participated in team building and STEM projects at Bridges.  

The Chinese stayed with Bridges families and participated in many local events. 

They also spent a day in Charleston. 

Last April, 12 Bridges students and three staff members visited Wenzhou High School. A partnership was formed and school officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

To learn more about Bridges Preparatory School, visit or call 843-982-7737. 

Children invited to Gospel explosion

A Back To School Gospel Explosion will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at the Healing Revival Deliverance Center at 21 Outreach Lane in Beaufort.

Children of all ages are invited and the theme is “You are God’s Special Treasure,” with the scripture of St. John 3:16.

Volunteers needed to help with grief

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even harder for a child. 

You can make a difference in a student’s life by serving as a Bereavement Support Group volunteer facilitator.  

Friends of Caroline Hospice offers bereavement support groups in the local schools for children in grades K-12 that are in need. 

For more information, call 843-525-6257.  

Group to hold Backpack Bash

Mentoring Young Minds, a nonprofit organization, will host its first Back to School Backpack Bash on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the John Parker Park in Port Royal.

The group plans to give away 300 backpacks with some schools supplies in them. 

Email for more information.