To the Editor:

The Foundation for Educational Excellence wants to thank the Bargain Box of Hilton Head for once again supporting our mission to provide innovative learning opportunities for the students of the Beaufort County School District. Their recent grant will fund 10 or more grants during our 2020 Innovative Teacher Grant cycle in schools on both sides of the river. The impact of their grant will affect hundreds of students.

Our organization was founded in 2007 to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County Public Schools. With the Bargain Box of Hilton Head grant, we will be able to provide funding for teachers and schools that encourages and inspires student achievement through innovative instructional practices. Our entire grant program is funded by private donations and grants, such as the one from The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, as well as by the Foundation’s annual fundraising event, Jewels & Jeans, held each year on the first Saturday of March. This year’s Jewels & Jeans event will be held on March 7 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Resort.

Since beginning the Innovative Teacher Grants program in 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $270,000 in grants, offering over 85,000 student learning opportunities.

We appreciate and thank the Bargain Box of Hilton Head for its recent grant. This wonderful organization has contributed to date $15 million to local nonprofits to improve the lives of the residents of Beaufort County. We are thankful that they are once again partnering with us to directly impact the lives of our local Beaufort County School District’s students.

Deborah E. Colella EdD, Chair

Foundation for Educational Excellence

To the Editor:

As it happens with many new technologies, solar energy seems to be the only way to go.

The issue is that no one thinks of the long-term problems it creates – such as disposal issues after the equipment is defunct. Solar panels contain heavy, poisonous metals such as lead, cadmium, etc., which create issues in themselves.

The glass panels must then be disposed of properly as the glass cannot be recycled because of these contamination problems.

Then to quote a solar research institute (IRENA) in 2016, over 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste was generated. This is to grow to over 78 million metric tons by 2050.

Before solar is forced on everyone, maybe the long-term environmental effects and total costs should be considered.

David Phelps

Bluffton

To the Editor:

As a Registered Nurse working in the community and studying public health, I know that housing in the Bluffton and Hilton Head area has become increasingly unaffordable.

Some socioeconomically affected residents have relocated to affordable regions, while some overcrowd in smaller apartments or trailers.

Long bus commutes, inadequate sleep, and minimal wages can be risk factors for hypertension. Research has found that lack of affordable housing is a risk factor to obesity and foreclosures which sometimes are driven by geographical socioeconomic status, not poverty (Jones, Mamudu, & Squires, 2020).

Affordable housing is a multifaceted problem that requires multifaceted solutions. First, stakeholders must be involved in brainstorming possible solutions through public hearings, testimonies or reports. Additionally, provide support, expertise and funding.

Second, the county should work with developers to discuss the possibility of affordable housing development or tiny homes construction.

Third, evaluate local, state and federal housing policies in comparison with other states and how they address the affordable housing issue.

Fourth, the investment in job and skills training for anyone who qualifies for government help with housing needs. Finally, in addition to affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization may be necessary to curb overcrowded housing stock, crimes, and pollution. Social and community support must be available and accessible to holistically improve community health (Hainstock & Masuda, 2019).

(The referenced articles can be found at ScienceDirect.com, by searching for the authors’ last names.)

Lilian Golder

Bluffton