NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Five North Charleston schools will share a $51,422 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation.
The check was presented at the Sheraton Charleston Airport Hotel Friday. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, Berkeley County community leaders and other elected officials joined in the celebration.
The money will go directly to a teen pregnancy prevention program started by Communities in Schools of the Charleston Area, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of student programs to more than 10,000 students in 23 schools across the Lowcountry.
"As an organization dedicated to keeping students in school, Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area recognizes the tremendous influence teen pregnancy has on the high school dropout rate. We are grateful to the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for understanding this very real obstacle to high school completion and for investing in Communities In Schools and comprehensive reproductive health education," Communities In Schools Executive Director Jane Riley-Gambrell told attendees Friday. "This money enables us to put staff members in schools to work with a targeted group of children to make good healthy life choices that will impact them…and hopefully they will stay in school be successful and graduate, and that's our mission."
The pregnancy prevention program started on James Island and will now expand to approximately 3,400 high-risk students in North Charleston.
The program also offers case management services including individual and group counseling, with group programs targeting teen pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted disease prevention, goal setting and drug and alcohol awareness and prevention.
Friday's event was part of a series of events the BCBS Foundation is hosting around the state to present its grants and honor the recipients in front of community and business leaders.