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Charleston Co. School District shares resources for Gadsden Green families

2023-09-28
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District wants families living in the Gadsden Green neighborhood to know that the district is there to support them. Gadsden Green is a property of the Charleston Housing Authority, a nonprofit that provides housing to citizens on low to moderate incomes. The district is spreading awareness about resources available to Gadsden Green families after the recent coverage of the living conditions in the neighborhood. Earlier this month, Gadsden Green residents told Live 5 News about the "unsafe" conditions they are living with, including rats, black mold and leaking ceilings. Gadsden Green resident Brittany Muckelvaney has five daughters in the Charleston County School District. She said the living conditions in the Gadsden Green neighborhood have impacted her daughters' education because they are often sick and unable to go to school. Several of her daughters have asthma, which she said gets irritated by black mold and rat feces in her unit. "They missed a lot of days of school, unfortunately, they missed some testing that was very critical to them," Muckelvaney said. Dr. Shavonna Coakley, executive director of school support and community engagement, explained what students should do if they are negatively impacted by their living situation at Gadsden Green. She said students should talk with school administrators about their circumstances. "The more information [Charleston County School District] knows about the families, the better we can help provide support," Dr. Coakley said. If Gadsden Green families are displaced during repairs to their units, the school district says they will provide transportation to keep their children in school, she said. The district will also provide Wi-Fi support and educational materials and connect families to community partners for additional help. "I just want to encourage all families to work with their local schools and the housing development agency that oversees the Gadsden Green community to make sure their voices are heard," Dr. Coakley said. The co-founder of the Lowcountry Black Parents Association said it's critical that Gadsden Green families who are struggling are made aware of these resources. "Whenever the home conditions of our students are negatively impacted by pest infestation, poor plumbing, and things of that nature, they carry that into the classroom," Davis said. Muckelvaney said parents should not feel embarrassed about asking for help. "I've had to ask for help. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, everybody goes through hard times," she said. The Charleston County School District said these resources are available to any family in need, not only those living in the Gadsden Green neighborhood. The Charleston Housing Authority said they do not have a comment at this time.

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