Students at Savannah Grove in Florence learn about computer science

By: Lauren Owens

FLORENCE, S.C. – During the January Fellows in Education meeting on Tuesday, participants learned about the computer science immersion program at Savannah Grove Elementary School that teaches students about the basics of coding.

Fellows who are participating in a program led by The School Foundation, Florence One Schools and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce visited various classrooms during the tour, including the STEAM lab for third- through sixth-grade students, where students learn coding through using LEGOs, LEGO WeDo kits and a program called Scratch.

Savannah Grove Elementary School STEM coach Haley Taylor told the fellows during her presentation that computer science is important for building math and writing skills, gaining creativity and confidence and preparing for future careers.

“It’s teaching them the skills they need,” Taylor said.

Principal David Copeland gave a presentation on the school’s mission to give students a 21st-century learning environment using research-based practices and his own passion for the school, as well as day-to-day life at Savannah Grove Elementary.

“When I think about where I came from and where I am now, I am grateful,” Copeland said. “That’s why this place is so special to me, and I am so excited to share my vision with our students.”

Copeland said the school has some daily challenges, such as a two-lane car line, one lunchroom line, no fence around the school.

Fellow Teresa Meyers Ervin, who is a 1981 graduate of Florence One Schools and a member of the Florence City Council, said she is impressed with the administration, teachers and students at Savannah Grove Elementary School. She said she enjoyed the energy of the teachers and the students in the classroom.

Ervin said she hopes to see the community and district help invest in the teachers through giving them proper support and pay to help them continue to educate children at the school.

Fellows in Education exposes Florence-area business leaders to the challenges and successes in local schools.