Welcome to the Charles Lea Center!

Enhancing Lives. Encouraging Dreams.

Simply said, the Charles Lea Center supports each person as they work to achieve their fullest potential. From newborns to seniors we provide services that enhance the quality of life for approximately 1,600 children and adults in Spartanburg County with intellectual disabilities and/or chronic medical conditions. Our goal is to help each person live more indepently, and of course that means different things for everyone so we have an array of services including, residential, day and work. In addtion we offer early intervention and case management services.  Our services are based on the principles of person centered thinking that looks at the strengths of each person and uses those skills to promote greater independence.
As a vital community resource for almost half a century, the Charles Lea Center provides innovative services coupled with the latest in technology that cannot be found elsewhere in South Carolina.
We hope you’ll take time to explore our website – we’ve got a lot happening!

How to Incorporate Altruism During Back-to-School Activities

It’s time to hit the books and pack a backpack, because the end of summer vacation is coming (or already here!) for millions of students. There’s a focus on renewal, new journeys and anticipation of learning to come. That’s why it’s the perfect time to also focus on teaching altruism during this back-to-school time! Check out these six tips to incorporate altruism in your back-to-school activities, no matter what stage of life you’re in!

 

Organize Classroom Volunteering

If you have a little one going back to the classroom, ask about volunteer initiatives that are planned for the year. If they don’t exist, ask if the teacher would be willing to let you help plan. When we teach our younger students the importance of volunteering and giving back at an early age, it helps instill these values for life. It’s never too early to teach about giving back.

 

Donate Back-to-School Supplies

Many children will be going back to school but may not have the funds to buy the necessary school supplies. If you can help, buy some extra supplies this year and donate to a classroom. Many fundraisers also exist to help clear teachers’ wish lists! You could even organize a fundraiser in your community or with your friends to help double your efforts. 

 

Become a Mentor

With a new school year comes new students who may be looking for somebody they can look up to and who can guide them as they continue to learn and grow. Look for mentorship organizations or speak directly with the school to see if mentorship programs exist where you could sign up to mentor students. Often, you’ll get just as much out of the mentorship program as the student you’re helping.
 

Donate Books

All classrooms have one thing in common—they need books! No matter the age, no matter the grade, books are an important part of the classroom experience. Look on local social media groups or speak with schools directly to see what types of books may be needed for the coming year. Organize some friends to go out and buy some new or gently used books to help stock classrooms!

 

Implement Programs at Nearby Schools

Even if you don’t have school-aged children, you can still help our youth get involved by learning more about local programs available for volunteering at schools. Often, schools will do a school-wide giving initiative or classrooms will have a volunteering day or giving component. If you have an organization you love, consider asking them if they have approached schools with the idea of involving kids for a day of giving.

 

Set School-Year Goals

Whether you have children going back to school or you’re simply looking for a time of renewal, use this as a reminder to set goals for the coming year. Include altruistic ideas that you hope to achieve in the coming months. Perform a number of random acts of kindness. Raise a certain amount of money for your favorite charity. Focus on your personal health by committing to running a specified distance. Think about personalizing the goals and lining them up with who you want to be and what you want to work toward. 

 

Back-to-school time can be a learning experience for everybody, even if you don’t have school aged children. It’s a time to remember that no matter where you are in life, you can continue to learn! Consider donating supplies, linking up with a local organization or helping to shape the youth who are also our future!