SC Humanities Awards Grant for Literacy Writing Project


December 14, 2020

Contact: Latasha Taste (, 803.414.8409


COLUMBIA, SC – SC Humanities a state program of the National Endowment of the Humanities Awards Communities In Schools of the Midlands (CISM) grant entitled “Social Emotional Learning Initiative: The Literacy Writing Project” in the outright Fast Track Grant amount of $2,500.

The Social Emotional Learning Initiative is a new program aimed to improve behavior, academic performance, and emotional well-being of students with critical needs enrolled in Communities In Schools of the Midlands intervention services. The Literacy Writing Project is a creative writing activity focused on increasing children and youth’s access to positive social and racial justice practices. Communities In Schools Site Coordinators, also known as student advocates for high risk students will collaborate with local published authors, poets, and artists to further engage students by increasing their knowledge of racial equality, social, and economic justice reforms within their communities.

“Racial inequity has a persistent effect on the social and emotional well-being of students,” said Program Director Dr. Claudia Aldamuy. “It is a priority for students in today’s society to be equipped with the appropriate support to address the multiple barriers they may face.” “From the contributions of SC Humanities, we are able to further develop interventions that help students build resilience, social-emotional skills, and self-regulate their behavior through literary writing and expression.”

“Communities In Schools of the Midlands is a new partner organization for SC Humanities, and we are pleased to be supporting their new ‘Literacy Writing Project’ that will serve at-risk youth through literacy and cultural mentorship”, said TJ Wallace, SC Humanities Assistant Director.

“It will be a meaningful effort to bring the inspiring, engaging, and enriching power of the humanities to Midlands students, their school communities, and their families.”

This program is sponsored by SC Humanities a state program of the National Endowment of the Humanities; Inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. Visit the website at For more information, contact T.J. Wallace at (803) 771-2477 or email


About SC Humanities

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

About Communities in Schools of the Midlands

Communities In Schools of the Midlands is a part of the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help students succeed in school and achieve in life. The program provides supports to seven schools within Lexington and Richland Counties and the South Carolina Juvenile Justice Department serving nearly 3,000 young people and families each year. Based directly inside of schools throughout the Midlands, Communities In Schools of the Midlands connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs. Learn more about Communities In Schools of the Midlands at

March 27th is International

In partnership with the SEL4SC, Communities In Schools of the Midlands will join thousands all over the world to advocate for International Social Emotional Learning Day on Friday, March 27th.

Join us LIVE! on our Instagram page, cis_midlands Friday at 10 am to learn how we implement #SEL at Communities In Schools of the Midlands. Site Coordinator Amie Cooper will share how she works to advance SEL and give a testimony on how implementing SEL helped her decrease student suspensions. Amie serves as the CISM Site Coordinator at Herbert A. Wood Elementary School in Lexington School District Two.

Amie graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Family and Child Development and is also a Trust Based Relational Intervention® Practitioner trained by the Karyn Purvis Institute for Child Development at Texas Christian University. Additionally, Amie is the Executive Director of Flourishing Families of South Carolina which provides hope and healing to foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers raising children from hard places.  Amie has several years of family case management experience specializing in early childhood trauma, foster care, and adoption. She also has personal experience as a therapeutic foster and adoptive mother caring for many children with various needs.

But wait, what is #SELday?

The Urban Assembly and SEL4US invite communities across the globe to celebrate the importance of social emotional learning (SEL) on the first annual International SEL Day on March 27, 2020.

We know that SEL changes lives.

Studies show that SEL provides many benefits to students—from improved social-emotional skills, well-being and behavior to improved academic outcomes—and these results are long-term and global, with proven positive impact up to 18 years later on academics, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use. 

SEL competencies are also critically important for long-term success in today’s economy. Organizations like At Communities In Schools is well-positioned to address many of the social and emotional needs and challenges facing students.

Our research on SEL

In recent years, the importance of social and emotional learning has received considerable attention among education stakeholders, policymakers, and the general public. Our headquarters, CIS National, published a research brief on key concepts of SEL, the impact that SEL has on student success, components of effective SEL programming and how the CIS Model can leverage SEL.

This research brief shows how CIS affiliate sites are well-positioned to address many of the social and emotional needs and challenges facing students in today’s schools.  It also provides an overview of SEL, describes the impact of SEL on student outcomes, and shares how Communities In Schools across the United States are leveraging SEL to help students graduate and live more fulfilling and healthy lives. To see the full brief article, download here.

Written By: Latasha Taste-Walker, Director of Development, Communities In Schools of the Midlands