Thomas Sumter Academy directs much emphasis on giving our students an excellent academic foundation; we strive to prepare each student for acceptance to their college of choice. However, if we worked towards that goal only, we would not be accomplishing our mission of developing the whole child and the well-rounded individual.
We believe education is deeper than formal book knowledge. We want each child to develop for years beyond formal education, and with a successful life comes community involvement and giving back to others. TSA’s motto is “Acta Non Verba” (Action Not Words) and we incorporate community involvement in the educational process from the Pre-School years through graduation.
Community involvement efforts at Thomas Sumter Academy focus on our local communities as well as national concerns.
Service organizations such as the Key Club, Anchor Club, and National Honor Society take on projects that include keeping roadsides clean, filling shoeboxes with Christmas gifts, visiting nursing homes, and stocking local food banks with canned food.
In Middle School, each grade identifies their own local mission. Students and teachers may spend a day raking, weeding, singing, cleaning, and “Generally speaking,” spreading goodwill.
Fourth and Fifth Grade students sponsor the Christmas Shop in order to purchase gifts for the Sumter Salvation Army Christmas Angels. Students bring in handmade arts and crafts and set up a gift shop in the school gym. Fourth and Fifth Graders manage and run the shop and sell to the Lower School students. Parents are encouraged to send in a shopping list and money for the students to make purchases for their Christmas lists. Items are priced upwards from 25 cents and each student in grades Pre-First Three to Third Grade is matched up with a Fourth or Fifth grader to with shopping.
The entire TSA family reaches out to our armed troops with the annual “Cookies for Shaw” campaign. Dozens upon dozens of homemade cookies are brought in by families to send to the troops who are defending our nation’s freedom.
Each November, Thomas Sumter Academy hosts an annual Veteran’s Day program. Local veteran groups and contingencies from Shaw Air Force Base, Fort Jackson, and McEntire Air National Guard Base are invited to visit the campus. Students and faculty express their gratitude for our Veterans through performances by the choral groups, displays of art by the Visual Arts department, and other activities.
Our largest effort of national concern is the annual campaign to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. Our initial campaign began with a Dance-A-Thon that raised a few hundred dollars and through the years and the collection of aluminum cans, dodge-ball tournaments, and various creative fundraising efforts, Thomas Sumter Academy is recognized as a national top-contributor to this cause. We have raised in excess of $250,000.00! The campaign is officially kicked-off each year by a “Locks of Love” assembly where girls of all ages at TSA volunteer a minimum of 10 inches of hair to be cut and used for wigs for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.