It’s Not All Bad News—Here’s Some Good News!

It’s Not All Bad News—Here’s Some Good News!

Company donates 500 masks to front-line workers in Greer

Greer-based Century 3 donated 500 face masks Monday to police, fire and EMS workers in Greer to help protect them from the COVID-19 coronavirus. “It’s a very kind and generous donation,” said Greer Police Lt. Patrick Fortenberry. “We like to say policing is a partnership. We’ve been partners with Century 3 for years. This donation will protect our officers for some time.” Read more.

Duke Energy Foundation Donates $150,000 to Agencies in South Carolina Helping Pay Energy Bills during COVID-19 Crisis

The Duke Energy Foundation has announced a $150,000 donation to support low-income customers in the Palmetto State who are struggling to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 crisis.

This additional funding will significantly increase the assistance available through the Energy Neighbor Fund and Share the Warmth programs to provide help to about 550 households with their utility bills. Funds can assist with heating or cooling costs. Read more.

Pine Street teacher honored in surprise appreciation parade

Parent Tashma Glymph says teachers are under-appreciated, especially those who go above and beyond the call of duty during a coronavirus pandemic. That’s why she organized a small parade Sunday to honor her daughter Kirsten’s fourth-grade teacher at Pine Street Elementary School, April Volk. Read more.

Dray Bar and Grill provides meals to service industry workers

Dray Bar and Grill is partnering with Upstate Service Industry United over the next few weeks to provide free take-out meals for food and beverage service industry workers and their families. Read more.

Greenville County Schools: Celebrating our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week

Parents and students can express their appreciation for teachers by downloading the sign at right, snapping a photo of you and your children with the sign, and submitting it to thankateacher@greenville.k12.sc.us. We will post your photos on the GCS Facebook page throughout Teacher Appreciation Week. Read more.

Senior Resources nutrition program to expand

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is providing nearly $1.6 million to expand Senior Resources’ emergency senior citizen nutrition program. The contribution from the health insurer, combined with resources from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, will provide an anticipated 245,000 meals to eligible homebound elderly persons, according to a news release. Read more.

Michelin, Greenville Tech gift critical needs supplies

Michelin North America donated more than 25,000 surgical masks to AnMed Health Thursday, while Greenville Technical College held a critical supplies drive for the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. Read more.

Easley High honors seniors by hanging banners downtown

Downtown Easley is festooned with green banners listing the names of Easley High seniors, and they’ll stay there until graduation day. A decision about graduation will be made by May 11th, but school officials want to make it special. Watch the clip.

Anderson University Creates Fund to Support Students Impacted by Coronavirus Pandemic

The Anderson University COVID-19 Relief Fund was created to remove financial obstacles that may hinder students’ academic success, said Anderson University Senior Vice President for Development and Presidential Affairs Wayne Landrith. “During this unprecedented time of global crisis, many of our students and their families find themselves facing unexpected financial hardships and uncertainty about the future,” Landrith said. “Of course, that is true of our alumni and friends as well, but we have received so many calls and emails asking how they can help. It speaks volumes about the generosity of our people and their recognition that our community is stronger together.” Read more.

Wofford basketball players join first-graders on Zoom call

Wofford basketball players talk to Cowpens Elementary students on Zoom

The kids had important questions for the players. How are they staying safe? Why did they choose Wofford? Who is their favorite Avenger? What superpower would they like to have? Read more.

#SpartanburgStrong parade shows support for health care workers

Read about it here.

Anderson Mall teamed up with Healthy Blue South Carolina to provide over 200 dental kits for United Way!

See the post here.

Bi-Lo on Reidville Road paid for the groceries of all medical personnel and first responders Monday evening.

Bi-Lo Reidville Road manager Alex Clever with a very happy first responder customer.

“At BI-LO, we’re dedicated to giving back to our communities, especially during these uncertain times. To show our appreciation and gratitude for our community heroes, we rewarded thousands of customers with free groceries during Monday night’s shopping hour dedicated to health care professionals and first responders. As a community, we are #StrongerTogether and will keep #WinningTogether together with kindness.”

Upstate siblings give back to local charitable organization in a big way

17-year-old Savannah Williams and 15-year-old Garrett Williams

While looking at the United Way’s website, the teens discovered a way they could assist the Spartanburg Opportunity Center.  According to the website, the need was for laundry detergent to wash clothes for the homeless. Spartanburg Opportunity Center set a goal of raising enough detergent to do 2,020 loads of laundry, but the Williams siblings did more than that.

Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees & Healthy Greenville Grant Initiative Releases Grant Funds to Meet Urgent COVID-19 Needs

Greenville Health Authority, by way of the Healthy Greenville Grant initiative, pledged $150,000 to three organizations in Greenville County in order to make an immediate impact on organizations that are seeking to provide health assistance for the county’s most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis. The three organizations are Miracle Hill (for their COVID-19 shelters for the homeless), Meals on Wheels of Greenville, and FoodShare of Greenville. Read more.

Seniors Are Honored with Downtown Banners

Spring sports seasons have been cancelled and athletic banquets are not happening this year, so Pickens and Woodruff honored their senior athletes by hanging banners with their photos downtown. Click the links to see the photos!

Friends surprise 11 year old girl on birthday with a parade of honking cars

A parade of honking cars drive by the home of Carson Griffin, on her 11th birthday in Anderson Friday. Classmates originally were going to have a party, but with the closure of Skateland and threat of the coronavirus, they decided to surprise her with the parade. See more here.

Two Greenville Makers Create Protective Shields

Jamarcus Gaston talks to two Upstate makers who are 3-D printing PPEs (personal protective equipment) to ship to hospitals that need them, in collaboration with the group 3DforCOVID.com. See the whole story here.

Meals on Wheels of Greenville Combats Senior Loneliness During COVID-19

Meals on Wheels of Greenville is committed to supporting Greenville County seniors and homebound neighbors as social distancing and additional restrictions increase in efforts to suppress COVID-19. Despite the uncertain times, the Meals on Wheels priority remains to deliver a hot, nutritious meal and personal interaction to the homebound throughout Greenville County while also ensuring the health and safety of all parties involved. Read more.

Yousef’s Kitchen in Westminster sets up “Blessing Box”

A blessing box has been placed outside of Yousef’s Kitchen containing a variety of donated dry goods for those in need to take.

Greenville medical student launches shopping service for vulnerable neighbors

“Since she just started the shopping service last weekend, she’s only gotten a few families signed up. But she’s enlisted 10 of her fellow medical students to do the same in their neighborhoods as well.” Read more.

Here’s how the Upstate is helping those in need during coronavirus outbreak

For many in the Upstate, life has changed as the coronavirus’ impact expands, and some residents have taken action to help. Read more.

Lions Club cancels tournament but raises money anyway

The Greer Centennial Lions Club found a way to raise money after canceling a fund-raising bass tournament planned for this weekend. The Lions asked sponsors to contribute and the club donated $3,000 each to three organizations, including Greer Relief (pictured), Greer Community Ministries and the Greer Soup Kitchen.

Teachers at Boiling Springs Elementary School participate in a parade through neighborhoods to show support for their students at home

Over 40 teachers and staff at Boiling Springs Elementary School participated in a teacher’s caravan parade through four of the school’s neighborhoods in Boiling Springs, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The teachers held signs and told their students they were thinking of them while the school is closed down. Katie Sanders, a third grader at BSES, holds a sign from her car as she waves to the passing caravan in her neighborhood. See photos here.

How You Can Help, or Get Help

Free Internet Resources for Social Distancing

Free Internet Resources for Social Distancing

Thanks to Keisha Long from DHEC for this information:

In this age of social distancing, working from home, schools switching to online classes, and visiting loved ones by electronic devices, virtual tools and the internet are more important than ever.  Below are some options:

AT&T – https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/#!/

photo by Jacqueline Kelly

 

In response to the public health crisis, Access from AT&T is temporarily offering two months of free service to new Access customers who order by April 30, 2020 with $5/mo or $10/mo thereafter, depending on your speed; Expanding eligibility based on income and to households participating in National School Lunch Program/Head Start; and Waiving all home internet data overage fees

Comcast – https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

Comcast has opened its Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free, is offering Unlimited Data for Free, more

NetZero – https://www.netzero.net/start/landing.do?page=/fd/landing/landing-new&refcd=FDFEB2018

NetZero’s free package provides 10 hours of internet access with no cost and the broadband plan provides 200 MB monthly data for free

FreedomPop – https://www.freedompop.com/

FreedomPop offers free internet access with their plans. After the free data is used up, you can opt for their paid plans to get further internet access.

Spectrum – https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/coronavirus-internet-offer-students/

Beginning Monday, March 16, Spectrum is offering free access to internet and WiFi for 60-days for new Pre-K to 12, college student and teacher households who don’t currently have internet or WiFi service. This discount will be applied as a credit for your first two months of internet services. They’ll waive any installation or pre-payment fees to help get you started.

The Latest COVID-19 Updates

The Latest COVID-19 Updates

5/29/2020

WYFF: Report outlines how classes could resume in South Carolina

5/28/2020

Upstate Business Journal: Milliken boosts plastic industry’s face shield production

Columbia Regional Business Report: COVID-19 testing available at 15 S.C. CVS locations

WBTW: Governor McMaster extends state of emergency another 15 days

WSPA: Bon Secours St. Francis Health System eases visitor restrictions

Columbia Regional Business Report: DHEC director cites health issues, family concerns in resignation

5/26/2020

WYFF: Task force discusses next steps for South Carolina schools

WSPA: 6 new COVID-19 community testing events happening this week in SC, Prisma Health says

5/25/2020

GoUpstate.com:  Free community COVID-19 testing this week in Spartanburg

5/22/2020

WYFF: South Carolina attractions reopen across state; sports, summer camps reopening soon

5/20/2020

Index-Journal: Clemson plans in-person classes; SC to reopen attractions

Columbia Regional Business Report: SC Housing providing $5 million in rent assistance

5/15/2020

Columbia Regional Business Report: COPING WITH COVID: 3D design company making face shields

GSA Business: Greenville task force releases recommendations, Hispanic business site

GSA BizWire: YMCA of Greenville will reopen with commitment to safety

5/14/2020

Post and Courier: More than $2 billion approved for SC businesses in second round of federal loans

5/11/2020

SC salons, gyms, pools can reopen, McMaster says. Here’s when.

SC restaurants can open for limited dine-in services today

5/6/2020

Duke Energy Foundation Donates $150,000 to Agencies in South Carolina Helping Pay Energy Bills during COVID-19 Crisis

Outdoor seating opens up in Laurens, Laurens Co. adds 42nd COVID-19 case

5/5/2020

SC economic revitalization plan committee holds 2nd meeting

Greenville County plans small business relief as major part of $91M federal COVID-19 grant

Minorities hit hard by COVID-19. Trump taps SC’s Tim Scott to guide black outreach

5/4/2020

Home or work order lifted; reactions mixed to outdoor dining option

5/1/2020

Prisma Health, in Partnership with DHEC, Launches Community Testing for COVID-19 at Initial Seven Statewide Screenings Beginning This Weekend

SC chief judge extends eviction stay. Some renters protected until August

4/30/2020

BMW Manufacturing to resume production on May 4

GSP Airport to receive $25.8 million in stimulus grants

4/28/2020

Spartanburg Regional obtains rapid testing for COVID-19

SC DMV to reopen all locations. Offices to use COVID-19 social distancing guidelines

4/27/2020

June 9 Primaries to be Held as Scheduled

South Carolina WIC recipients getting more food choices

4/26/2020

Gov. Henry McMaster will extend state of emergency. What does that mean for SC?

4/24/2020

Six new coronavirus symptoms just officially added to CDC list. What are they?

Unemployment benefits available for self-employed, gig workers in South Carolina

Rescuing restaurants: Effort to help locally grows beyond city and state

4/23/2020

Unemployment claims drop in S.C. for first time in 5 weeks COPING WITH COVID: Greenville Area Development Corp.

Greenville city, county launches business recovery task force

4/22/2020

Coronavirus forces SC K-12 schools online for the rest of the school year

4/19/2020

SC Gov. McMaster to lift coronavirus restrictions on some retail stores

4/16/2020

Spokesperson: Letter from McMaster does not mean S.C. businesses will stay closed to late June

4/15/2020

Sage Automotive Interiors Transitions to Medical Fabrics

Rapid coronavirus testing machines heading to select SC hospitals, prisons

4/14/2020

How Will COVID-19 Policy Changes Impact Carolinians?

4/13/2020

New US attorney in South Carolina hunts coronavirus scams

SC Launches COVID-19 Emergency Supply Portal to Connect Providers with Organizations in Need

Governor extends state of emergency in South Carolina, all orders remain in effect

4/8/2020

Greenville lab processes Prisma COVID-19 tests in 24 hours

4/7/2020

Data predicts South Carolina’s peak coronavirus resource use on April 24

S.C. LLR Extends Renewal Deadlines During Health Emergency

Greenville to close all of Swamp Rabbit Trail within city limits

Spartanburg County orders county buildings closed to public

4/6/2020

Gov. McMaster toughens SC coronavirus stance with ‘go to work or stay home’ order

More businesses in SC must close after being deemed nonessential during coronavirus

4/3/2020

McMaster directs DHEC to release coronavirus ZIP-code data that had been withheld

Milliken pivots to produce more PPE

4/2/2020

BlueCross BlueShield waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19

GSP cuts hiring, closes restaurants as demand drops over coronavirus concerns

Hospitals Creating Drive-Thru Specimen Collection Sites to Combat COVID-19

4/1/2020

South Carolina DMV scales back Upstate operations

Prisma Health closes North Greenville emergency room during coronavirus pandemic

3/31/2020

SC Gov. McMaster expected to order ‘non-essential’ businesses to close to fight coronavirus

Maps and Trends: Coronavirus in South Carolina (updated 3-31)

Spartanburg Regional begins drive-through testing at USC Upstate

SC governor closes beaches, boat ramps to combat coronavirus

3/30/2020

Spartanburg Regional: Some employees have tested positive for coronavirus

Sassafras Mountain Tower, along with Bald Rock Heritage Preserve, have been closed to the public because they do not offer enough space for safe social distancing, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.

3/27/2020

SCDMV extends deadline for driver’s licenses, permits, registrations

SC governor, health officials give update on coronavirus cases, state’s response

SC state parks closing through April

Spartanburg restaurants selling produce, other items during coronavirus outbreak

Greenville to consider ‘stay-at-home’ order after SC Gov. McMaster chooses not to

Greenville-based laboratory named first SC commercial laboratory validated for COVID-19 testing

3/26/2020

Prisma Health says it’s developed a way to make 1 ventilator work for 4 coronavirus patients

COVID-19 Answers and Updates from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s Chief Medical Officer

3/25/2020

City of Greenville Enacts Curfew, Temporarily Closes Falls Park

Greenville-based laboratory named first SC commercial laboratory validated for COVID-19 testing

3/20/2020

Milliken & Company Scales up Production of Advanced Anti-microbial BioSmart® Fabric for Front-line Medical Workers

Meals on Wheels of Greenville Combats Senior Loneliness During COVID-19

Celebrating Public (More than Simply) Education

Celebrating Public (More than Simply) Education

by Catherine Schumacher, President & CEO, Public Education Partners

I’m writing this blog post from my home office, where I am enjoying one of the two benefits of working from home (the other being the dress code): windows.

I never thought I would miss my windowless office at Public Education Partners so much. I took the quiet space, free of distractions, for granted. I took my brilliant and funny colleagues, the quick convenings in the hallway and the rather grim breakroom, for granted. Lots of things…taken for granted.

As our communities come together to respond to COVID-19 and its wide-ranging impact, all of us at Public Education Partners hope that there is one thing that no one will take for granted ever again: the essential role that public schools play in our society. Not just as places of learning, but as anchors of our communities.

Schools are, first and foremost, a safe space where our children learn to be educated, engaged, empathetic members of society. What we have seen in the last few weeks, however, is all of the OTHER things our schools do as well. Kids receive healthy meals that keep their bodies strong and minds sharp. They turn to school-based health centers to receive medical care and mental health supports. Families are connected to a broad network of social service providers that help with everything from homelessness to job training.

All from one, chronically underfunded system.

Our school districts–our teachers, counselors, principals, staff, administrators, and superintendents–are superheroes. As Greenville County Schools Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster observed in this op-ed published last week in the Greenville News, the efforts to transform learning and other support for our students on a very short timeframe are nothing short of “heroic.”

In Greenville County alone, we have 81 different locations where the district is providing not only two meals per day for students, but also free wi-fi access so that kids who don’t have it at home can download new content to their school-issued Chromebooks, submit assignments to teachers, and continue learning. Special education teachers, counselors, and school social workers are all keeping a close eye on their students, checking in just as they would if schools were in session as usual. These efforts are being replicated at districts across the Upstate, and they powerfully demonstrate the ways in which public education is about so much more than academics.

Public Education Partners of Greenville County is proud to serve as co-facilitator with Ten at the Top of the Upstate Education Spectrum, which convenes key stakeholders to discuss critical needs in education that impact our Upstate Counties. Over the last year, we have been focusing on the teacher shortage, working together to develop strategies for recruiting and retaining the best teachers for our Upstate classrooms—inviting them to #TeachattheTop.

The Teach at the Top brand was developed in partnership with our friends at Duke Brands and will be the heart of collaborative messaging about the benefits of teaching in the Upstate. Like PEP’s #Teach864 campaign, Teach at the Top will celebrate the terrific work of teachers and schools in our communities. Keep an eye out for news from #TeachattheTop on social media platforms in the weeks to come—now is the perfect time to shine a bright spotlight on these superheroes among us.

I also want to ask our Upstate community to keep a close eye on how we can support our public schools, teachers and administrators, and the students and families that they serve over the next several weeks. In particular, our Upstate United Ways are helping to coordinate strategic supports for children and families during this time. Public Education Partners will be doing everything that we can to be a good partner to Greenville County Schools, our colleagues at Ten at the Top, and others as we navigate this crisis. I invite you to follow us on our social media platforms (@PEPGreenville) and website for critical information relating to COVID-19, along with updates about our own programming.

Be well. Stay safe. Thank a teacher.

 

 

Public Education Partners (PEP), founded in 1985, leads our community in acting collectively to support, strengthen, and advance public education and student achievement in Greenville County Schools. To that end, its work focuses on Elevating Teachers, Empowering Advocates, and Engaging Communities.