Elevate Learning Project expands operation ahead of new school year

School is going to look and feel a bit different for elementary students taking part in the Elevate Learning Project on Daniel Island when they return to their classrooms on Aug. 24. 
They’ll find the same Montessori-inspired learning experience, but the ELP team has kicked it up a notch with a new, expanded space and plethora of features designed to spark imagination and engage students. And the changes are likely to score high marks all around.
In addition to whimsical wallpaper designs, students will find rainbow-colored pom-pom garland and jars of inviting art supplies in the new “Makerspace;” a treehouse-style reading nook and brand new library with thousands of selections; boomphones, banjos and other
instruments ready to be played in the new music room; garden planters outside ripe with eco-learning opportunities – and much more!
 “It’s really exciting!” said Stefanie Swackhamer, executive director and co-founder of ELP, which serves kids in grades K-5. “We love it!”
The private school first opened in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a small, 1,400-square-foot space located at 254 Seven Farms Dr. This summer, they moved just a hop, skip and a jump down the street to a 6,800-square-foot facility on the top floor of the Synovus building. 
“It’s pretty amazing!” added Adrienne Day, ELP’s head of school and co-founder.  
 “When we first started, we really wanted the school to feel more like a home than a school,” Swackhamer said. “… And I think that our approach to education, combined with our outdoor education component, is huge. And getting kids moving and appreciating their community and respecting each other. That is just very unique to us.”
They opened initially with 18 students. The following year, enrollment grew to 30 and in about two weeks, ELP will welcome 50 kids. The staff has also grown from four to seven teachers.The makerspace, library, and music room, along with a kitchen and additional activity spaces, are all new offerings they didn’t have before. The enlarged facility will also allow them to have a separate learning space for upper elementary students.
“We’re going into our third year and we’ve been adding one grade level each year, because the families are growing with us,” said Swackhamer, who noted the school now has a waiting list. “So we’ll have an area for our older students, which is really exciting because they were always kind of mixed in before.”
Many of the items in the new facility have been donated, such as the furniture provided by Benefitfocus in the multipurpose room. The school also features a “major upgrade” to its security system.  
In addition to its rigorous academic curriculum, the ELP model also teaches students the importance of giving back and being kind. For more information on the Elevate Learning Project, visit elevatelearningproject.org.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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