In case you haven’t heard yet, Engaging Creative Minds has been very busy lately making some new connections with the amazing students, teachers, and staff at Charleston County’s Edmund A. Burns Elementary School!
In the course of our regular process of connecting with an increasing amount of schools across South Carolina, ECM became aware of the exceptionally great need for a change of pace at Burns. Immediately, we began planning a process to help the Burns community address their understandable issues and to provide as many resources as possible in giving them what they needed to use their inherent talents to make Burns the best school it can be. After just one visit, it was very clear that the potential for excellence at Burns is unquestionable. As a matter of fact, it was already there, just hidden under some very stifling conditions.
Identified by South Carolina education analysts as a State Priority School, the need for change and assistance at Burns can’t be doubted. But, as in most underserved communities, this is a task often easier said than understood and put in action. So, we decided to start with the basics!
Every Wednesday for the entire 2016-2017 school year at Burns, ECM staff and partners greet students first thing in the morning with a menagerie of stimulating activities and positive personal engagement. As an introduction to ECM and its lineup of amazing Arts Partners, kids are given the chance to make puppets out of paper and fabric, learn traditional African songs and rhythms through drums and dance, draw themed chalk murals, interact with local artists and performers from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and simply experience a positive welcome to the educational environment first thing in the morning, preparing them for a day of focused, purposeful learning.
Now, as we move through the first year at Burns, we look to some new initiatives to continue the process of positive transformation. To lead the way, a group of Burns students has been selected to compose a committee that will design and oversee a whole new chapter in the Burns identity, completely reinvigorated by a new mascot, school colors, Burns apparel, and, most of all, lots of activities to keep Burns students engaged with their sense of school community.
It’s still just the beginning of a great new era at Burns, but the response has already been overwhelmingly positive. The more we get to know the people of Edmund A. Burns Elementary School, the more their concerns become our concerns, and the more we share their tangibly increasing sense of hope about the future of their community. We invite you to keep a very close eye on developments as we continue to document the Burns Elementary story here on our blog, and to reach out to us at any time if you feel that you’d like to help us make the most of this opportunity to give these amazing students all they need to realize their inherent greatness!