Thumbs Up receives grant for technology

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Thumbs Up, Inc. Children’s Learning Center recently received a $4,000 educational grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support literacy for its after-school program for elementary and middle school children in northern Beaufort County.

Educators teach elementary and middle school children how to use hand-held computer tablets to improve reading skills during the after school program at the Thumbs Up Children’s Learning Center in Beaufort.
Educators teach elementary and middle school children how to use hand-held computer tablets to improve reading skills during the after school program at the Thumbs Up Children’s Learning Center in Beaufort.

Specifically, the grant, titled “The Digital Reading Launch Pad,” provides funds for new hand-held computer tablets and apps for an online library of hundreds of books to improve the reading skills of struggling students.

Thumbs Up students have been working with Jill Brown, a teacher from Beaufort Elementary School, on using “Google Docs” in the classroom, soon to be introduced in all elementary schools by next year.

Thumbs Up Director Rosalyn Browne said, “The grant from Dollar General has greatly helped to level the playing field by giving access to today’s technology to disadvantaged children who do not have computers in the home. We have seen the children enjoy using their tablets to do more homework and reading.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education.

Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO said,  “At Dollar General, we are passionate about our mission of serving others and it’s exciting to see the real difference literacy and learning makes in people’s lives.”

Thumbs Up, Inc. was founded in 1995 by Sister Mary Trzasko, who started a small after-school homework assistance program for children whose parents were mentally disabled. These children were at risk of failing and “falling through the cracks” because they parents lacked the skills to help them with homework.

Over the last 19 years, Thumbs Up has been led by a volunteer Board of Trustees and operates a year-round learning center that offers educational and social services for children and families in northern Beaufort County at no cost.

Thumbs Up is funded by private donations, the United Way of the Lowcountry and Coastal Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. It was also one of 10 local non-profit organizations to be selected for “Lift the Lowcountry,” part of a national philanthropy day on May 6.

For more information, visit www.thumbsupbft.org.