Angel Tree Project brings joy and celebrates rich history

Dec. 11, 2019 – The Keith James Williams Black Law Students Association will celebrate a special holiday tradition with its annual Angel Tree gift distribution to local children on Friday, Dec. 13, at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School. All Charleston Law students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend and should meet outside the elementary school at 1:15 p.m. The 2019 Angel Tree with presents underneath

The Angel Tree Project encourages students, faculty and staff to select an ornament connected to a wish list from a local child (or “angel”) and purchase gifts for that child. Before Christmas, BLSA delivers the tree and gifts to children at their school.

Second-year law student Michelle Mapp, who helped coordinate this year’s Angel Tree, explained that the project is “an opportunity for Charleston Law students to put our school’s motto, ‘pro bono populi,’ into action and reminds us that our mission as future lawyers is to be in service for the good of the people.”

Last month, BLSA held a tree lighting ceremony after all the ornaments were placed. The ceremony included a discussion of the history of the Angel Tree, now in its 15th year at Charleston Law, and the history of Sanders-Clyde Elementary School, named for African American educators Ellen Sanders and Bertie Clyde.

Sanders and Clyde began their teaching careers in Charleston upon graduation from Avery Normal Institute which provided education and leadership training for African Americans from 1865 to 1954. Sanders operated her own school until approximately 1920 when she became one of the first African American teachers admitted into Charleston’s public school system. Clyde directed the summer teachers’ training program at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. In 1960, officials renamed Sanders-Clyde Elementary School in honor of their excellence and community leadership.

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