The Sumter Education officially announced the 500 for $500k Fundraising Campaign on Tuesday, May 23 at Wilder Elementary School. The announcement took place in Teresa Riddle’s kindergarten classroom. Remarks were made by Bronwyn McElveen, vice chairman of the Foundation; Dr. Marion Newton, Foundation Board Member; Kevin Johnson, plant manager of BD; and Greg Thompson, CEO of Thompson Industrial Services, LLC.

500 for $500k aims to support our teachers in Sumter School District in strengthening the reading proficiency of every student from preschool to high school. In 2014, the SC General Assembly enacted the Read to Succeed Act, requiring school districts to submit a Reading Plan to the SC Department of Education. Through input from our teachers, each school was also required to submit a reading plan, and establishing classroom libraries is a component of each plan.

“When we heard about this campaign, it was a no brainer for our company,” said Johnson. “For us, it is about growing our economy. Education is the foundation of our economy in order for it to grow.” He presented a $1,083.55 check to Riddle to purchase books for her classroom library, and BD donated $2,025 to Kingsbury Elementary School. Johnson said his company plans to continue to support this initiative in the years to come.

“Our future leaders are right here in front of us today,” said Thompson. “We believe we owe them three things: good healthcare, good infrastructure, and a good education.” Last year, Thompson sponsored the first Ben Carson Reading Room in Sumter School District, and he announced this morning plans to sponsor another. On behalf of the Sumter Development Board, he plans to support the Foundation’s 500 for $500k Campaign by sponsoring two classroom libraries.

The Sumter Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm for the Sumter School District. The Foundation was established in 2012 and is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.  Our mission is to engage business and community partners in the support of Sumter School District teachers and the academic achievement of all its students.