James Island Charter High School's international outreach effort - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

James Island Charter High School's international outreach efforts

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James Island Charter High School's international outreach efforts. James Island Charter High School's international outreach efforts.
CHARLESTON, SC -

Community spirit runs high at James Island Charter High School, and often that spirit transcends international borders. We're on James Island for our Cool School of the week.

They have awards and accomplishments, but the spirit of giving is what they are most proud of at James Island Charter High School. Principal Robert Bohnstengel says, "That community spirit on James Island that has been famous throughout the county has now gone international."

James Island Charter High School is no stranger to giving back to the community. Through fundraising projects, they were able to raise a thousand dollars to help a family in need over the holidays. Students help at soup kitchens, hold coat drives for red cross, street sweeps, and marsh sweeps, and do what they can to help keep Folly Beach clean. Senior Nicholas Smillie says, "We are dedicated to our community, just helping our community and helping keep our community clean."

Now their efforts have gone global. Ninth grade principal Major Rich Gordon is deployed in Bosnia with his National Guard unit. The students and faculty sent him journals, but wanted to do more, so they helped him and his unit adopt a hospital. They provided gifts to sick and injured children in Bosnia. Numerous clubs and organizations along with the James Island community sent boxes of toys and gifts to Bosnia. Senior Lizzie Mayo says, "We helped with the Bosnia gift program. I'm so happy we can make a difference from so far away."

They say it's all about being bigger than yourself. Student body president Curtis Williams says, "It's fabulous. I think we should reach out to any other place that needs help. I think we did a great job in reaching out to Bosnia."

The Trojans strive to make a difference right here in Lowcountry, and around the world. Teacher Melanie King says, "I'm very proud of the community that James Island has here in the school and outside the school. When we were able to go outside of the United States and be part of something like that, I think it allows kids to know we are a world, but we are also very small, we're all connected." Williams says, "It's a Cool School because we rock the house. We have the best spirit here, I love here."

Students volunteer on weekends for community service, and provide clothing for homeless children across the country. James Island Charter High school received the Community Pride award in 2010.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll tell you about the International Baccalaureate program, and present them with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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