- Orangeburg County School District
Holiday surprise arranged by OCSD Board Member Ruby Edwards
CHARACTER CHRISTMAS IN DISTRICT SIX
In a third-annual holiday surprise orchestrated by Orangeburg County School Board Member Ruby Edwards, community supporters will join her to celebrate the season of giving with the children of District 6.
Character is the focus of this year’s Christmas surprise for more than 50 elementary school children in Edwards’ district. “Character Christmas in District Six” is planned for Friday, December 17, and students from Mellichamp, Rivelon, and Sheridan elementary schools who have been selected by their school leadership for exemplyifying strong character will be recognized and rewarded.
Through the generosity of Edwards and community partners, including the Tiffany Grant Foundation, Community Keys, Delta Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Paragon Builders, second through fifth grade students representing a character trait such as honesty, bravery, compassion, or loyalty, will spend Friday morning having fun at The Max Family Entertainment Center at an exclusive holiday event in their honor.
“The focus on character allows us to encourage all children,” Edwards, a retired school counselor, explained. “Character is not about academics, where you live or what you have. Character is about what you have inside of you, and I can’t wait to see all of the positive character words these students represent!”
Keylon Singleton, Founder and CEO of Community Keys, never shys away from an opportunity to provide hands-on support to children, particularly those in families who have experienced challenges or who live in neighborhoods that are troubled and overlooked. Through his organization, Singleton isn’t waiting on anyone’s permission to help grow and improve lives through three keys to community progression-communication, education, and community development. The Claflin grad has been giving back to the community and Orangeburg’s schools for years, and has been a long-time supporter of Edwards’ Holiday Events for children in District 6.
“We’ve got a lot of Facebook and social media activists, but they are not doing anything hands-on,” Singleton stated. “You’ve got to start and do stuff yourself. State and Claflin Alumni have to be willing to work, to catch these kids early. That’s how we’ll grow Orangeburg.”
Latisha Walker, Executive Director of the Tiffany Grant Foundation (TGF), worked in law enforcement for Orangeburg Department of Public Safety as the Director of Juvenille Services and, recently, retired from SLED. After her sister’s untimely death in 2019, Walker established a foundation in her name. Tiffany Chiffon-Grant was a star student, a loving mother, sister, nurse, and a natural leader determined to help the youth. Through the foundation, Walker carries forth her sister’s legacy to fill the gap that socioeconomic differences wedge within our communities through benefits, nursing scholarships, and youth development.
In addition to this Friday’s merriment, the group presented all Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at Rivelon and Sheridan with a small toy for Christmas last week.
“I was intrigued by what Ruby was doing. It just tugged at my heart strings,” Walker commented of her desire to help. “Each child should be able to enjoy the day of Christmas.”
Edwards is excited to work hand-in-hand with such giving community partners.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without my community partners,” Edwards said. “We are so excited also to partner with The Max, a local business, for a day of fun, laser tag games, and trampolines, food and gifts for these deserving children.”