Dads Club provides strong community support for J.K. Gourdin Ele - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Dads Club provides strong community support for J.K. Gourdin Elementary

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They call it one of the best kept secrets in Berkeley county. J.K. Gourdin Elementary is a school that stands strong on community support, from the young and the young at heart. We're in Berkeley county for our Cool School of the week.

The old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and the Dads Club at J.K. Gourdin has that saying engraved in their hearts.

The Dads Club is made up of ten men, retired grandfathers of students and community members.  Louis Mayrant is president of the Dads Club. He says their job is to assist the teachers and students, and help the school in whatever way they are needed. Mayrant says, "It takes a whole community to raise a child, and we think we're very much needed here." Benjamin Bryant is also a member. He says, "They say there was a lack of men in the school and I wanted to come and help out as much as I can. I'm hoping I'm making a difference." Mayrant says, "Most of our kids come from one parent homes. We feel like we're a very vital and important group here because they see an image of a man everyday. One of us is either in the classroom, or we're in the lunchroom, or we're in the library with them, or even in the hallway. We're on school grounds, so it's very important that we are here."

The Dads Club holds fundraisers, and donate their own money for trips. They built a gazebo and beds for the school's vegetable garden. Fifth grade student Dywan Reaves says, "I think that's really nice of them because they probably have other things to do. It makes me feel happy." Principal Lorene Bradley says, "There is a lot of love in this school. The Dads Club is getting ready to work on another initiative by taking it to another level and serving as mentors for male students." Fourth grade student Brandonn Watts says, "I feel like they're like a second dad." Fifth grade student Jacob Wiley says, "They devote their time to help us because they care about our education." Fifth grade student Briana White says she's thankful, "We're a very small school, but it's the little that counts because we are a Cool School."

The Dads Club sell dinners, they hold raffles, and they're planning a banquet fundraiser for a trip to Washington D.C. for students this summer.

The school received Farms to school and Lowes Tool Box grants to help with supplies for the gazebo and garden beds.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present J.K. Gourdin 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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