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Angel Oak Elementary Places First Wise Owl House on Johns Island 

Free Books and Under-5 Learning Kits For the Johns and Wadmalaw Island Communities

 

November 28, 2023 - Angel Oak Elementary - as part of its goal to meet every learner’s needs and help each student reach their maximum potential - is thrilled to announce a major milestone in its School Improvement Council’s Birth-to-5 Initiative: the placement of a new Wise Owl House at the Barrier Island Little League Ballfield.

 

The Wise Owl House project began early this year as part of the School Improvement Council’s (SIC) efforts to support student achievement. Learning begins long before a student’s first day of elementary school. At the same time, access to learning materials can be challenging for those with limited transportation options. With this in mind, the SIC began an effort to install Little Free Libraries (nicknamed “Wise Owl Houses”) in key, accessible areas on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. 

 

Additionally, teachers at Angel Oak - with the support of the CCSD Early Learning Department -  began creating free Learning Kits designed specifically for little learners from birth to five years old. The Learning Kits will include educational activities for families, developmental milestone guides, manipulatives, and other materials to begin early learning at home, and will be available in designated Wise Owl Houses, as well as on request through the Wise Owl House website, www.wiseowlhouse.org. Thanks to an incredible reception and interest, the Wise Owl House project has spun off into an official 501(c)3 effort, with the goal of sustaining not only the Wise Owl Houses on Johns and Wadmalaw, but in the greater Charleston area. (Please see more on the Wise Owl House project below.)

 

Thanks to a partnership with Charleston’s Friends of the Library, the Wise Owl Houses have a strong stream of gently used books to fill them. We are also grateful to Johns Island-based diesel engine repair company, Cummins, Inc, which is kindly donating its talent to assemble donated Little Free Libraries, to Palmetto Christian Daycare for donating the materials, and to St. Johns Water Company for donating the location of our first Wise Owl House placement. Over the course of 2024, the SIC hopes to place between 10 - 20 Wise Owl Houses around the islands, with future installations at Palmetto Christian Daycare on Johns Island and at Frierson Elementary on Wadmalaw Island.

 

Our first official Wise Owl House unveiling will be this coming Saturday, December 9, at 9 a.m. ET at Barrier Island Little League Ballfield, 3362 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455.

 

Representatives from Angel Oak Elementary, its School Improvement Council, the Wise Owl House initiative, Charleston County School District, St. Johns Water Company, and Cummins Engines are expected to attend the official unveiling, and will stock the House with its first free books and learning kits. 

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Judith Condon, Principal at Angel Oak Elementary

James Teeple, Angel Oak SIC President

Tim Sallee, Cummins, Inc

Kristin Hackler, Wise Owl House, Inc: wiseowlhouseproject@gmail.com; 843-557-4294



About Wise Owl House, Inc.

Early on in the Angel Oak SIC’s efforts, we understood that we could not handle funds directly, so a nonprofit called Wise Owl House, Inc, was launched and officially came into existence in mid-November of this year. 

 

Wise Owl House will continue to run in parallel with the SIC efforts, with the goal of both building and replenishing Little Free Libraries on the islands and in the greater Charleston area. New Little Free Libraries and Little Free Libraries that are regularly replenished by Wise Owl House have been nicknamed Wise Owl House. Additionally, indoor Free Book shelves located in community centers and other public locations are referred to as Perches.

 

Wise Owl House is pleased to partner with Charleston Friends of the Library as our main source of gently used books, and with Angel Oak Elementary to support the distribution of Birth-to-5 Learning Kits. We are always looking for volunteers to help with distributing books around the greater Charleston area! For more information, please visit www.wiseowlhouse.org