The Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center emerged from a non-profit organization named Roosevelt Community Watch, which was organized in 1997 by concerned citizens of the Clover area. In expanding their services, a tutorial program was developed in 2010 to serve the youth of the surrounding communities. To properly implement the program, Roosevelt Community Watch collaborated with the Clover School District, Town of Clover and the YMCA.
A mobile unit, just 900 sq. ft., located in Roosevelt Park was converted from the Community Watch meeting place to house the Enrichment Center. The needed structural renovations were completed by Town Hall of Clover, with additional funding from The Clover Rotary Club to support the program. Technology infrastructure and equipment were supplied by Clover School District, along with transportation of the students from school to the center. A strong partnership with the YMCA, under the leadership of Linda McCullum, was key to providing paid staff members and funding field trips and supplies for the children. Volunteer tutors made the balance of the program possible, along with critical donations from area churches.
How We Began
On September 15, 2014, the Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center became a certified incorporation for nonprofit corporation, and in February 2016, became federally tax exempted (501c3).
The Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center
In 2012, the center was dedicated and named the Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center, to honor the first African-American Clover School Board Member. Mr. Stellie Jackson served four terms, over 16 years on the School Board, during a time of significant growth and cultural change in our community.
The Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center is located in the Kinard Elementary School attendance zone allowing designated children to participate in the program. Up to 15 students per year are transported from Kinard to the center, with parents or guardians responsible for picking them up at the end of our 2 ½ -hour-long session. The program provides educational, cultural, social and faith-based activities to support academic, spiritual and moral growth.
Results of Our Work
Our children are the best indication of our success. Their enthusiasm for the center is expressed in hugs, in joyful singing and in active participation. We are also especially proud of the academic improvements our children have achieved in math, reading and writing, as documented in their school performance records. The Kinard Elementary School received a Palmetto Gold Award in 2013 for its academic improvement, and we are pleased to have contributed to that achievement.
The Future is Bright
Expansion of the Enrichment Center is planned for 2018, with the construction of a new facility. In April 2017, River Hills Community Church made a significant pledge towards the new facility that will allow more than double the current capacity of students and more programs to support parents, caregivers and older siblings. Family member support will include bible study classes, personal finance, parenting classes and computer skills.
“The expanded Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center will allow us to accommodate more students from the surrounding communities and increase activities in the after-school tutoring programs, as well as in our summer reading and enrichment programs. Success for our children also requires a strong family unit, so we have plans to implement several programs to support their parents, caregivers and older siblings.”
Liz Stowe Johnson
Executive Director and Chairperson
“So often missions tend to put a Band-Aid on something. It doesn’t have a lasting impact. We see, in the Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center, that the possibilities are really limitless!”
Pastor, River Hills Community Church
Summer reading readiness programs were begun in 2013, which is an extension of FIRST STEPS of York County and BRIGHT BEGINNINGS of Clover School District. The program is designed to help preschool age children adjust to school and develop a love of reading, to have the best possible start as they enter kindergarten or 1st grade. In 2014, the program was expanded to include 1st and 2nd graders needing reading improvement, and serves 10-15 students each summer. Operated entirely through volunteers, it also attracts high school student volunteers, who receive a small incentive for their participation.
The Children We Serve
Board of Directors – 2017/2018
The Stellie J. Jackson Board of Directors created the center as a faith-based community center available to serve children, especially of elementary and preschool age, and their parents/guardians and older siblings. Our goal is to assist as many as staff and space will provide, in their academic growth and in moral character.
What board members say the Stellie J. Jackson Enrichment Center means to them:
Elizabeth Stowe Johnson – Chairperson, Executive Director – “We are inspired by the Lord Almighty”
Margaret Ann Alexander – Treasurer – “Inspiring young minds”
Ruby Simpson – Secretary – “Fulfilling life’s purpose through learning, working and praying“
Stellie J. Jackson – “We are extending education and instilling values”
Rev. Sharon Spann Gamble – “A spiritual and educational covenant to inspire masterpieces in progress”
Kathy Weathers – “A trusted after-school program that inspires children to grow!”
Mark Woolery – “A place for hope”
Willie Phillips – “I love working for the community”
Linda McCallum – “There is no greater gift than being able to make a difference in a child’s life”
Keith Bethea – “Developing young people to responsibility and success with a concentration on the Lord”
Monique Boekhout – “A way to return my own blessings”
Sandra Jeter – “Bolstering confidence through positive reinforcement”
“Without education, everything is lost,” according to Mr. Jackson, “when education is not continued in the home, there is a great void, so our programs serve to continue the school day for our children. Our Board, Staff and Volunteers are the best example of creating a positive future. I’m very appreciative of what God has inspired this group of people to give our children, and while we recognize not every child will take the opportunities they are given…some will.”
Mr. Jackson serves on the Enrichment Center Board of Directors
From its onset, the program was faith-based and focused on academic assistance and social, spiritual and moral growth, under the caring leadership of Liz Stowe Johnson. Ms. Johnson brings her experience as a Clover School Board Member and (now retired) Music Teacher, along with tireless spirit, to attract and lead staff and volunteers to deliver the exceptional program.