Cainhoy Elementary Middle School’s helping hands provide valued additional support

Cainhoy Elementary Middle School's helping hands provide valued additional support (Image 1)

You’ve heard the saying, it takes a village. At Cainhoy Elementary Middle in Huger, that saying is a way of life, and has led to strong academic gains. We’re in Berkeley county for our Cool School of the week.

On any given day at Cainhoy Elementary Middle School, you will see dedicated volunteers lending a helping hand. Principal John Spagnolia says, “Our school is the center of the community. We have over 100 volunteers that are here just about every week, and for a school of 345 that’s a pretty good amount of people.”

Volunteers and mentors come from area churches, community groups, and businesses throughput the Cainhoy/Huger communities, and beyond. The Golfers for Education group from Daniel Island visits the school at least once a week. Betty Durishan says, “We focus on the kindergarten, first, second, and third grade, because we feel if we reach the children in those years and help them become more comfortable with reading, the rest of their school years will go more smoothly. I very much feel like we’re making a difference here.” Ray Bolek is also with the group.He says, “On the few days we’re here, we’re able to do one on one with the children. I had these children when they were in kindergarten a few years ago.” Second grade student Anastasia Mitten-Aleksejeva says,”Well they are very nice. We really have improved on all our stuff. They’re the best volunteers in the world.” The organization also helps to support funding for incentive programs like the Tiger Buck prize store and the Tiger Café.

Daniel Island Community Fund and Nucor awarded Cainhoy Elementary Middle School with a grant to purchase sixty new dell computers to update two existing computer labs

Businesses in the area also volunteer support. BP and Nucor Steel employees serve as lunch buddies as well. Jerry Herrmann with Nucor Steel Berkeley says, “We are part of their community, so we’re trying to support their community. We moved into their backyard. This is their community and they welcomed us, and we’re trying to support them.”

Teacher Victoria Huerth says, “We know that when we need help, when I need for my kids to learn how to read, my kids who need extra help, I know I have volunteers that can take the time to pull them aside and really work with them on the skills they need.” Principal Spagnolia says the additional support has helped improve academics. Spagnolia says, “In the last six years, we’ve been doing very well academically, and it’s because people from the outside, our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, our volunteers, that has a huge effect on how well we do i think because our children love to see them come.” Seventh grade student Terrence Smalls says, “They make us feel very special such as lunch buddies and reading buddies. They come and help us and take their time off to show support for our school, and they make donations with us also.”

Title-one sponsors six instructional family programs throughout the school year. BP provides funding and grants to assist with educational field trips, instructional materials, and books for every classroom. BP also has supported the summer enrichment program. Nucor sponsors the school’s after school robotics team.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we will present the Cainhoy Tigers with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at, maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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