Education and crafts offered to island youths


JOHNS ISLAND “Yes I can” was an appropriate theme for the summer education program at Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Center, as about 20 children from Kiawah, Seabrook, and John’s Island met for three weeks to receive “enrichment and reinforcement,” according to Sister Mary Joseph Ritter, OLM, center director.

Each session, designed by Sister Mary Carol Wentworth, OLM, began with a prayer, pledge of allegiance and learning of a new vocabulary word. Classes were offered in math, reading, and creative arts such as music, watercolors and paper mache. Athletics were even thrown in, as the youths took part in basketball, volleyball, softball and relays.

A highlight for many of the students was the field trips.

Participants traveled by boat from Bohicket Marina to Botany Island for a shelling trip; and youngsters also visited the West Ashley Library, receiving library cards if they didn’t already have them.

In addition, some members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra met with the group for “show and listen,” and volunteers came to the center to instruct in bird feeder building, quilting, and pottery.

Gloria Spriggs of the Clemson Extension Nutrition Program also visited for a talk in the kitchen about diet and health, with the children assisting her in preparing tasty dishes. Another focus of the program, said Sister Mary Joseph, was 30 minutes of reading a day for each child.