Program Helping South Carolina Youngsters Handle Emotions Expands

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A renowned, innovative after-school program that helps students control their tempers, deal with nerves, take responsibility and make good life choices is going national after receiving a $1 million donation.

WINGS for Kids started in Charleston 15 years ago and organizers say it's the only program of its kind teaching emotional skills to elementary school children in an after-school setting.

It now operates in four elementary schools, largely in low-income areas of Charleston, and 3,500 students have passed through WINGS since it was founded in 1996.

Now, thanks to the $1 million donated by a board member and as part of a planned three-year, $4.5 million fund raising campaign, WINGS is considering several cities for expansion including Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta, Baltimore and Jacksonville, Fla. WINGS hopes to be operating in two or three schools in the city selected by next fall.

The program earlier tried, unsuccessfully, to expand and since then has reworked its expansion plans.

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