In Our Community: Teacher discounts at Clemson, new youth orchestra, and more

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ENTERTAINMENT

Sensory Suite opens at Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Anyone should have the opportunity to go to a live show. Some people, however, have trouble processing the sights and sounds at a typical arena show.

Bon Secours Wellness Arena celebrated the grand opening of its Sensory Suite on April 3. The space is designed to meet the unique needs of guests with sensory challenges.

Beth Paul, general manager of Bon Secours, says the Sensory Suite furthers the arena’s commitment to inclusiveness and accessibility.

Key features include sound- and light-dampening glass enclosing the suite, soft seating, and calming sensory accessories.

Robin Blackwood, a parent of a special-needs child, said it’s easy to take for granted that every child can enjoy the same fun activities in the same way.

“You have to change most of your outings and types of entertainment that your family can enjoy together,” Blackwood said. “The Sensory Suite means families will be able to attend events at The Well in a place that is more comfortable, more inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone.”

EDUCATION

Clemson University offers discount to teachers

Teachers in South Carolina pursuing graduate education programs at the Clemson University College of Education will now receive a 10 percent tuition reduction. The college’s S.C. Teacher Incentive Program will begin in the 2019-20 academic year.

The program will apply to four of the college’s master’s programs. The discount will apply to any teacher in the state currently employed in a K-12 classroom.

Photo provided by Clemson University.

Jeff Marshall, associate dean for research and graduate studies, said the program is part of the college’s effort to effect positive change in South Carolina.

“When the educators in our state are better trained and more prepared, they are more capable of creating positive impacts that are felt far beyond the classroom,” Marshall said in a news release.

U.S. News & World Report named Clemson’s Master of Education in Teaching and Learning the best online graduate education program in the nation in 2019.

FEEDING THE HUNGRY

Harvest Hope wins social media contest

Harvest Hope Food Bank of South Carolina was crowned the winner of this year’s Food Lion Feeds #FastBreakBracket social media competition.

As a reward, Harvest Hope Food Bank will receive a 50,000-meal donation.

The social media competition engaged 30 regional Feeding America-affiliated food banks in Food Lion’s 10-state service area. Fans participated by voting online.

Harvest Hope board Chair Erinn Rowe said the competition was tough. “You can’t win without massive community support,” Rowe said. “Thank you to everyone who voted! Every time we asked for votes, S.C. rallied and came through with overwhelming support.”

Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion’s goal is to provide 500 million meals to those in need by the end of 2020. This will be done through in-store campaigns, food rescue programs, donations, and volunteering.

FINE ARTS

New orchestra an opportunity for young musicians

The Spartanburg Philharmonic has announced the formation of a youth orchestra. The program aims to create a community where musically inclined teenagers can thrive.

Helen Tipton, Spartanburg School District 7 orchestra teacher and chair of the Philharmonic Education Committee, said, “Embarking on this project with this amazing team has been the highlight of my year.”

The youth orchestra will bring together the best eighth- through 12th-grade instrumental players to perform more than three concerts a year. Students will have the opportunity to connect with professional musicians and like-minded youth.

Susana Lalama, assistant professor of music education and conductor of the wind ensemble at Converse College, will lead the youth orchestra.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime,” Lalama said. “It’s a chance for students to play with musicians of similar interests and take their musicianship to the next level.”

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