Teacher Cadet is a state-adopted curriculum that is offered in more than 100 public high schools in South Carolina, including our school, Spring Valley High in Columbia, the state capital. The class is designed to allow students to explore teaching as a career. Part of our curriculum focuses on the history of education, particularly as it relates to education in South Carolina, which has been a rich, but sad history in many respects. Fifty years after Brown v. Board, children in South Carolina public schools do not enjoy education equity.
Our school district, Richland Two, has partnered with seven rural impoverished South Carolina districts located along the I-95 Corridor that were featured in a documentary entitled “Corridor of Shame: Neglect of South Carolina Schools.” This partnership utilizes service learning as a teaching strategy to promote academic achievement and civic engagement among students in both our district and those with which we have partnered.
As part of an ongoing service learning project, SV Teacher Cadets conducted an Education Equity Forum to increase fellow students' awareness of the disparity between affluent SC districts and those rural impoverished districts featured in the Corridor of Shame documentary. Our SV Teacher Cadet classes have recently begun a book drive to add to limited resources within one or more rural schools with which our district has partnered.
As student leaders, we seek funding to assist with transportation and other related costs associated with delivering books to our partner districts. It is not just a matter of shipping the books a couple of hundred miles away, but we seek to build a student to student relationship with our peers in rural South Carolina. The rich diversity among our districts will open doors of opportunity and increase understanding of how education inequity impacts all of South Carolina.
We look forward to the opportunity to apply for funding from Do Something, especially because we have secured a $500 match from our District’s Richland Two Youth Action Council as part of our student-led service learning project!