March 19, 2016

The School Improvement Council (SIC) of Ebinport Elementary School has been named the recipient of the 2016 Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence.

The award was presented Saturday afternoon during the SC School Improvement Council (SC-SIC) Annual Meeting at EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia.

The annual Riley Award for SIC Excellence was created in 2002 to recognize the significant contributions made to public education by the nearly 15,000 School Improvement Council members who volunteer in every public school in the state. The award is named in honor of the former SC Governor and US Education Secretary and his late wife, and recognizes the couple’s longstanding commitment to quality public education.

“The Ebinport Elementary SIC has done some outstanding work in the area of literacy that is well-deserving of this statewide recognition,” said SC-SIC Board of Trustees Chair Michael Guarino. “When parents, educators, students, and community members come together as a School Improvement Council, identify the needs of their school, and take meaningful steps to meet them, it has a lasting and impact for on schools, their students, and their families.”

Presented with Honorable Mentions for their work last school year were: H.E. McCracken Middle School SIC (Beaufort County School District); Jennie Moore Elementary School for the Creative Arts SIC (Charleston County School District); Laing Middle School for Science and Technology SIC (Charleston County School
District); and South Florence High School SIC (Florence Public School District One.)

A core partner of the Center for Educational Partnerships at the University of South Carolina College of Education, SC-SIC was established in state law nearly 40 years ago to provide the member training, technical assistance, statutory accountability, and operational resources vital to the continued success of the community-based School Improvement Councils in each of the state’s 1,100-plus K-12 public schools.

More about 2016 winner:
Ebinport Elementary School SIC

This SIC made improvements to ongoing programs and implemented new initiatives in several areas of focus. The SIC’s literacy projects include an Eagle Eyes buddy mentor program that pairs 4th and 5th graders with kindergartners who start school with below average readiness in reading. Teachers report that participating kindergartners show increases in letter identification and other literacy-related skills and that both mentors and mentees benefit from the experience. In partnership with
local businesses, the SIC established five “Little Free Libraries” in low income areas within its school’s attendance zone, giving students easy access to leveled reading books during evenings and weekends. In the area of student health, the SIC continues
to work with school staff to sustain the teaching garden established by the SIC. Led by an SIC member/Master Gardener, all students have an opportunity to learn, touch, and taste their work every spring and fall through activities that are aligned with SC
classroom standards. After a review of school climate data indicated that both staff and students were noticing behavioral issues that disrupted learning, the SIC collaborated with the school on a Social and Emotional Learning pilot project targeting students’ social and emotional skills. The SIC is continuing to spearhead the
expansion of this effort and is actively working to share information about the program with other SICs in its district.