News & Events

The Independent
Letter: SK CARES thanks volunteers for help with spelling bee
March 12, 2020

On the evening of Wednesday, March 4, the Elks Lodge in Wakefield was abuzz with activity surrounding the South Kingstown CARES Adult Spelling Bee. This is the 15th year CARES has held the event, an evening of friendly but fierce competition that brings together spellers from our local schools and all corners of our community.

Fourteen reams competed for the title of champions including; Curtis Corner Middle School, Broad Rock Middle School, Matunuck Elementary School, Peace Dale Elementary School, The South Kingstown School Committee, The Elks Lodge, The Miss Spellers, The Queen Bees, The Honey Bees, Java Madness, Marinelli & Sons Electric, DiStefano Brothers Construction, Clean Rite Cleaning and Restoration, and Career Construction. This year Java Madness buzzed to the top of the hive for first place, edging out second place winners from Peace Dale Elementary School and the School Committee who took third place.

The South Kingstown CARES Board of Directors and Staff would like to thank our hosts of the evening; Kim Mather, retired principal of West Kingston Elementary who emceed the event and Gina Masiello, director of curriculum, for being our Queen Bee. Our distinguished judges included, Linda Savastano, superintendent of SK Schools, Nancy Burroughs, a founding member of the SK CARES organization, and Peggy Noble, a retired SK teacher and CARES mentor. We'd also like to extend our thanks to Kathy Eagan, retired principal from Broad Rock Middle School, Lynn Dougherty, retired principal from Wakefield Elementary School, Jenn Enck, principal from West Kingston Elementary School and Deborah Kelso, SK Town Councilor for lending a hand during the event.

This event wouldn't have been possible without team sponsorships from the participants as well as raffle donations from many local businesses. Special sponsors of the event include; Belmont Market, Graphic Expressions, The Elks Lodge, Dennis Moffitt Painting, Ocean State Endodontics, Wakefield Pediatrics, DeQuattro Orthodontics, Dave's Market, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Becki Donnell from Berkshire Hathaway, Bowse Builders, South County Sand & Gravel, Sweenor's Chocolates, Tase-Rite, Sweet Althea's, West Bay Gourmet, Shaw's, Two Ten Oyster Bar, Maggie Hayes-Cote, and Martone Inc., whose generosity helped make this year's Spelling Bee a great success. All funds raised go directly to the volunteer programs South Kingstown CARES coordinates.

SK CARES is a vital part of the community, helping both students and teachers throughout the South Kingstown School District through our four core programs: Classroom Volunteers, Mentoring, Homework Club and assisting at the SKHS Career and College Center. Last school year, over 325 volunteers gave thousands of hours in classrooms at our 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, the inclusionary preschool program and at South Kingstown High School. Our after-school Homework Club program provided support for students in the elementary and middle schools and our Mentor Program paired students of all ages with a caring, supportive role model.

We are grateful to all who participated in this year's Spelling Bee and to those who came out to cheer on the spellers. The continued support of our community and the district helps us make a difference one child at a time. For more information about how to get involved with SK CARES and the South Kingstown public schools as a volunteer or a mentor, visit or call 360-1304.

Kristen Samponaro
South Kingstown CARES

The Independent: March 14, 2019 (PDF)

The Independent: June 2018 (PDF)

The Independent: March 2, 2017 (PDF)

News Release April 26, 2016
We are pleased to share the exciting news with our SK CARES volunteers and supporters that the Cox Charities Community Advisory Group has awarded us a grant to support the volunteer programs we coordinate to benefit the students and teachers in our South Kingstown Schools. On April 26th, Helen Pernicone and Cindy Pacheco, CARES Co-Presidents along with Deb Kelso of SK CARES celebrated the receipt of this award at a breakfast reception held by Cox at their Northeast Headquarters. We were also honored to have Abel Collins and Rachel Clough, both of the South Kingstown Town Council, in attendance.

South Kingstown Cares Receives Cox Charities Grant to Support STEM Programming in its Homework Club
Organization Among 10 Grant Recipients, Awarded April 26 by Cox and Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner
South Kingstown, RI – South Kingstown Cares received a $15,000 grant from Cox Charities in support of its STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming. The grant will support students in the organization's Homework Club and summer reading program.

"We are overwhelmed with gratitude toward Cox Charities for their generous support," said Helen Pernicone, executive director, South Kingstown CARES. "We believe in educating the whole child and we collaborate with the teachers in order to reach as many students as we can. We are so proud of the work we do with the students of South Kingstown and this gift will enable us to continue to serve them and expand our programs."

Cox Communications is celebrating 15 years of supporting youth education by awarding 15 grants totaling more than $185,000 in the company's northeast region, comprised of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Ohio. Ten of organizations honored with grants are Rhode Island after-school and summer STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning programs.

The 10 recipients were awarded their grants at a special ceremony presided over by Treasurer Seth Magaziner on April 26 in West Warwick.

"Every day, 14 million students across the country leave school and have nowhere to go. We are proud to support organizations that encourage academic aspirations and increase the likelihood of those students earning high school diplomas," said Jay Allbaugh, senior vice president and region manager, Cox Communications.

Recipients were selected by a committee comprised of elected officials, community partners and business leaders for their commitment to STEM-based programming.

"Cox has always been a true supporter of youth and education in our state," said Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island general treasurer. "The company has consistently recognized and funded deserving organizations, all of which are working tirelessly to enrich children's lives with creative and effective STEM-based programs."

Cox Charities is the charitable giving initiative of Cox Communications. In its inaugural year of 2001, $28,000 was awarded to five organizations in Rhode Island and Connecticut. In 2016, that number has increased almost seven-fold to $185,000. Since 2001, Cox has invested more than $6 million in grants and in-kind support throughout the northeast.

2016 Rhode Island Cox Charities Grants Recipients:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick
Breakthrough Providence
Center for Dynamic Learning (Providence)
City Year Providence
The College Crusade of Rhode Island
Newport Community School
North Providence Marines Trades
Project GOAL (Providence)
South Kingstown CARES
SPIRIT at Blackstone Academy Charter School (Pawtucket)


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109 Kersey Road Peace Dale School Building #57 Peace Dale, RI 02879
Tel (401) 360-1304 Email