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Students in Sharon Blackwell’s second grade class at Greeleyville Elementary School expressed appreciation to employees of DSM Nutritional Products-Kingstree for making their dream of attending the North Charleston Premiere of Disney’s The Lion King, on December 7, 2019, a reality.

As a result of students’ and staff members’ appreciation, a brief program was held on December 16, 2019, at Greeleyville Elementary School where students expressed their gratitude to DSM by sharing their favorite take-a-way memories of the musical. Second grader, Zoyee Collins, welcomed DSM to Greeleyville Elementary School. She said, “We are so happy that you have taken time out of your busy schedules to visit with us today.” Student, Raeshaun Graham, who thanked DSM on behalf of his classmates, said, “DSM, thank you for your generous gift. Your gift provided an experience of a lifetime.

Every minute of our day was awesome. We will never forget going to see The Lion King live on Broadway in Charleston, SC.”  Another student, Jordon Sabb, said, “It was the best day of my life because it was like living my life over again. Thank you (DSM), for paying for our trip.”

Principal Belinda Mack was very pleased that students were able to experience a Broadway Musical.  She thanked parents and volunteers who acted as chaperones, several members of the GES’s staff, DSM and Superintendent Rose Wilder for making this opportunity possible for well-deserving young leaders in Ms. Blackwell’s class. “During the summer, students went to see The Lion King movie, and they really enjoyed it. When Ms. Blackwell shared with me that her class wanted to go to The Lion King Musical, I was hopeful that they would be able to because these second graders work extremely hard. When DSM agreed to sponsor this trip, we were delighted because it allowed all of the class to enjoy this amazing opportunity,” Mack said.

Superintendent Rose Wilder expressed her appreciation to DSM for caring enough to support the school district by providing $3,000.00 for students to travel to North Charleston to The Lion King Broadway Musical and have lunch at California Dreaming. “I am very thankful that a local business partnered with our school district to provide an extraordinary experience for students. These students will not forget this experience, and we look forward to working with other local businesses to discuss similar opportunities for our students,” Wilder added. She also applauded students on their positive behavior during the musical and at lunch.  

Brian Lee, Senior Manager-People & Organization at DSM Nutritional Products, shared, “We were just happy to make this opportunity a possibility for the children.  It is important for educators, families, and the community in general to partner in creating new experiences for the children and supporting their interests.”

Sharon Blackwell has been working as an early childhood educator in Williamsburg County School District for 17 years and she is known as a dedicated teacher. As a result of her positive rapport with students and the exceptional academic gains of her students, she was tapped by Superintendent Wilder to follow her students to second grade this school term as their teacher.  According to Wilder, students in Ms. Blackwell’s class have formed a close bond with each other and their teacher, and they are exceling academically.  

At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Blackwell and her students discussed doing things they had never done. Eventually, a goal was set for the class to go to The Lion King Musical in North Charleston. Without funds, they reached out to the community and were delighted when DSM agreed to support them by covering all expenses. Ms. Blackwell told DSM, “Thank you for providing a once in a lifetime experience. It was an awesome day.”

DSM is a global purpose-led, science-based company specializing in Nutrition, Health & Sustainable Living. Their purpose is to create brighter lives for all and achieve it by using all the scientific and innovation power at their disposal to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges - creating value for customers, shareholders, their people, and society-at-large.