The Original Six (O6) Foundation raised over $170,000 to support South Carolina students in rural and underserved public school districts during the 5th Annual O6 Sporting Clays Tournament on October 19 at Rocky Creek Sporting Clays in Richburg. The money raised shattered the prior fundraising record for the event and will be used to support the organization’s two primary programs: O6 Afterschool and O6 My First Library.
“We are incredibly grateful for the businesses, individuals and organizations that join the Original Six in our belief that a student’s educational opportunities should not be limited by the zip code in which he or she lives,” said Original Six Foundation Founder and Chair Nikki Haley. “When we first started the Original Six in 2011, some of the students told us they were afraid to go to school because they didn’t have their homework done, and they didn’t have anyone to help them. Not because their parents didn’t love them, but because their parents were working two jobs and may not be home to help,” Haley told the sold-out crowd of 200 at the event.
O6 Afterschool provides students a safe place to learn while filling educational gaps after the three o’clock bell rings. Individualized homework assistance is provided by qualified teachers who not only care about their students but help them develop the strong study habits that carry them through high school and beyond. Emphasis is placed on interactive learning—particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM)—awakening curiosity and igniting a new love of learning.
Traditionally, O6 Afterschool was offered to students in grades three through eight, but the Original Six Foundation expanded the program to students in grades two through eight this year after teachers requested the change. In addition, the Original Six Foundation added Main Street Elementary in Lake City, South Carolina to its list of 2023-24 afterschool partners after Main Street reached out to the Original Six for support.
“We are starting the 2023-24 school year with 850 students enrolled in our O6 Afterschool program,” said Original Six executive director, Kara Gormley Meador. “That’s more than the total number of students we served in O6 Afterschool during 2022-23 and our program enrollment tends to climb throughout the year,” Gormley Meador said. “Record-setting enrollment requires record-setting fundraising. The Original Six is constantly looking for businesses and individuals who want to partner to keep up with growth.”
O6 Afterschool currently serves students in Allendale, Bamberg, Clarendon, Colleton, Florence, Greenville, Marion and Union counties. Students in O6 Afterschool often show significant academic improvement as well as increased self-esteem and confidence. Funded by donors, grants and fundraisers, there is never a charge for students to attend O6 Afterschool, and all services offered are free.
When you include the Original Six Foundation’s My First Library program, the Original Six partners with 43 schools in 8 school districts across the Palmetto State. The Original Six My First Library program provides South Carolina’s highest-need kindergarten students with at-home libraries to encourage summer reading during a series of book fairs held in May. During the 2022-23 school year, the Original Six Foundation distributed over 30,000 books to more than 3,000 South Carolina students in 38 schools.
About Original Six Foundation
Founded in 2011 by then-Governor Nikki Haley, the Original Six Foundation believes children across South Carolina deserve a quality education regardless of where they are born and raised. The Original Six Foundation works to improve education by identifying gaps and filling them through hands-on engagement and resources. The Original Six Foundation has invested over $1,200,000 in rural and underserved schools since 2011 reaching over 22,000 students and providing over 30,000 hours of homework help. The Original Six Foundation My First Library program has distributed more than 77,000 books since acquiring the program in 2020.
To learn more, please visit: www.originalsixfoundation.org.