Yes, finally! After three years of COVID, Thumbs Up is back to “full strength.” We have suffered multiple interruptions but are thrilled to share that our full-day summer program will run June 19th through July 28th;and our after-school program will begin in September. Thanks to a very generous donation of $40,000 by the Versacare Foundation, the majority of our summer program activities are fully funded. We couldn’t be more grateful to them for their support for our critical work.
Established in 1995, Thumbs Up is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Sister Mary Trzasko who had a passion for helping disadvantaged young students. Our multi-year after school program’s mission is to build learning skills, trusting relationships, and positive parental involvement, all resulting in the enhanced academic success and self-confidence of our students.
We recently hired a new Executive Director, DR. CHRISTOPHER C. THOMPSON who succeeds Ms. Rosalyn Browne, who retired last year. Dr. Thompson is a Beaufort native, a creative educator, and a community-focused leader with exceptional communication skills. He received his undergraduate and graduate training at Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL. He also received additional undergraduate training at Southern Adventist University. He completed his doctoral studies at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.
Dr. Thompson’s passion is education and ensuring his young students develop into agents of positive change, with strong critical thinking, social, and language skills. He first became familiar with Thumbs Up when founder, Sister Mary Trzasko launched the program in the former Boys & Girls Club on Boundary Street in Beaufort. He was a teenager at the time who admired Sister Mary as he watched her care for struggling students after school each day. Because of her influence on him, his passion is to follow in her footsteps and grow the minds and character of local students.
Dr. Thompson’s summer program will utilize the “Freedom School” curriculum as envisioned by Marian Wright Edelman, during the civil rights movement, who was the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund. Other activities will include STEM learning, Tech Tuesday at Beaufort Digital Corridor, swimming, tennis, and a variety of field trips. Breakfast and lunch will also be served daily.
Our success is dependent upon the help of our community as both donators and volunteers. We hope many of you will continue to stand with us as we transform the lives of our local children for the better. We thank you!