Original Six Afterschool program expands to reach more rural students in high-poverty public schools

September 18, 2023

The Original Six Foundation (O6) is continuing to grow its commitment to ensure a student’s educational opportunities are not limited by the zip code in which they live with the announcement that the nonprofit’s O6 Afterschool program is expanding into a twelfth South Carolina school and will include second grade for all partner schools.

The Original Six delivers programming and resources to fill educational gaps in rural and underserved public schools and offers equitable growth opportunities for South Carolina children. Traditionally O6 Afterschool served students in third through eighth grade, but teachers requested that second grade students be added to the program for the academic benefit and to help working parents.

“Workforce development begins with programs like O6 Afterschool,” Original Six executive director, Kara Gormley Meador says. “The O6 Afterschool program helps prepare students for academic success, while giving working parents peace in knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment while they finish their workday.”

In addition to expanding the program to serve second grade students in all Original Six partner schools, the Foundation will bring O6 Afterschool into Main Street Elementary in Lake City, South Carolina.

“We are excited and grateful to have this opportunity for our school, students, parents, and community,” Main Street Principal, Dr. Sharon Williams said. “We are thankful that the Original Six Foundation sees the need for afterschool programs like ours at Main Street. Their investment and committed partnership allow us to be able to provide additional academic assistance while also showcasing the skills and talents of our students,” Williams said.

Main Street Elementary is the Original Six Foundation’s twelfth O6 Afterschool partner and the second school in Florence County School District Three to utilize O6 Afterschool. J.C. Lynch Elementary School in Coward is entering its second year as an Original Six Afterschool partner.

“It’s exciting to see O6 Afterschool’s continued growth in rural and underserved areas,” Original Six Foundation program director Nick Washington says. “The Original Six team is proud to partner with talented and hardworking teachers and community leaders who are introducing experiences and igniting a passion for learning in students across the state,” Washington said.

The O6 Afterschool program breaks down traditional barriers that families living in rural and underserved areas face by using existing resources. The elementary and middle school students who participate in O6 Afterschool stay in their school after 3 P.M. without the need to travel to another site. O6 Afterschool is provided free of charge to parents and invests in teachers already employed by the school districts. Operating four school days a week from September through April, the O6 Afterschool programs runs between two hours after the traditional school day depending on what each district decides works best for them.

O6 Afterschool is currently operating in public schools in Florence, Union, Marion, Allendale, Bamberg, Clarendon, Colleton and Greenville counties. During the 2022-23 school year O6 Afterschool provided over 7,100 hours of homework assistance, STEAM activities and fun to more than 700 South Carolina students.


About Original Six Foundation

Founded in 2011 by then-Governor Haley, the Original Six Foundation believes children across South Carolina deserve a quality education regardless of where they are born and raised. The O6 Foundation works to improve education by identifying gaps and filling them through hands on engagement and resources.

To learn more, please visit: www.originalsixfoundation.org.