Wednesday morning we boarded the buses and started on our three hour drive to South Carolina to visit Tamassee DAR School. The school was founded in 1919 and gives deserving boys and girls a home, a school, and a chance in life. Tamassee is a private non-profit children's home and family service organization offering multi-faceted programs to serve children and families in crisis. The students’ education has a foundation in strong values and the principles of citizenship and patriotism. The students attend public schools and the middle school students take their core classes at the Tamassee Academy. Tamassee serves 40 pre-schoolers in the day care program and has also graduated 25 adults with GED diplomas.
When we arrived on campus, we were greeted by Amy Twitty, CEO; Dianne Culbertson, Board Chair and all of the students. The older children welcomed me with yellow roses and a precious 10 year old clogged to the song “Yellow Rose of Texas.” During our visit at Tamassee we were taken on tours of the campus and had the opportunity to visit with students in the cottages where they reside. It was delightful to see what the children are learning and to see the advancements the school is making for the students. Many of these children came from difficult home situations and Tamassee offers a nurturing environment where they can gain confidence and thrive. A young lady would not make eye contact with anyone for months after her arrival and as we departed, she shyly gave me a hug.
After our time at Tamassee we continued on to the Clemson University Conference Center in Clemson, South Carolina for a banquet dinner. Tamassee promotes their cultural heritage with a group of cloggers. Imagine my surprise to watch them clog to one of my favorite George Strait songs! The speaker was a 17 year old young lady who had lived at Tamassee for 8 years with her three siblings. She shared 10 of the things she’d learned at Tamassee, including that Tamassee is her home and the students and staff are her family. An artist was inspired by the stained glass windows in the chapel and hand painted a beautiful silk scarf to be auctioned as a fundraiser. I had a lot of fun running up the bid for a good cause and I was stunned when your wonderful Executive Committee purchased it and presented to me as a gift. After a full day, we settled in for the night in anticipation of returning to campus early the next morning.
Many of the members who are on the tour have been uploading some great photos to their social media sites. Check out the DAR Schools Tour Social Hub to follow along with the tour! Also be sure to take the quizzes to see how much you know about what DAR does for education!