Thumbs Up names new executive director

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Sister Mary Trzasko, Founder of Thumbs Up, Shelia Cole, former Executive Director and the new Executive Director, Dr. Jackie Parker

Thumbs Up, Inc., a United Way Agency, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jacqueline M. Parker as the Executive Director of the after school program, replacing Mrs. Shelia Cole who is moving to Texas.  Dr. Parker retired from the Beaufort County School System after serving in various capacities for 35 years.

Thumbs Up is a year round program that focuses on academic achievement and character development by volunteers working one on one with referred youth, their families and their teachers.  All of our students come from families where little or no help is available with daily homework assignments. The program requires both the parent and the student sign a contract stating the rules for joining and successfully participating in the program. Volunteers work one on one to tutor the children, help with homework and listen to them read and help them with reading comprehension.  Field trips enhance the cultural and learning experience for these students and supplement the after school tutoring program. The year round program includes a summer schedule of swimming instruction two days per week and field trips on Fridays.  The students use “compass learning” computer programs geared to their academic level to aid in teaching the children at times when school is not in session.  They work on arts and crafts projects and have outdoor recreation after their school work is done.

Thumbs Up is now located in a house on Hamar Street with a full kitchen and is in clean and comfortable home-like surroundings.  Nutritious meals are provided each day before sending them home, and they are given snacks when they arrive by bus after school.  Housekeeping and cooking skills are taught with parents, volunteers and Clemson Extension Specialist assisting.

Thumbs Up relies on the United Way, other grants and donations for funding.  Please consider volunteering to help tutor just one day per week from 3-5 p.m. or to drive our small bus on field trips or to provide a meal once a month.  Your donations can be sent to 914 Hamar Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 and are 100% tax deductible.