Community Services & Programs

  • Program for Academic and Cultural Enrichment (PACE)

In the 1980s, the Penn Center augmented its educational mission with the introduction of PACE, its Program for Academic and Cultural Enrichment. The PACE program fosters youth development programs for Sea Island children ages 14 months – 17 years. Instruction focuses on education, social, environmental, and cultural development and enrichment. In the addition, the program provides tutoring for 4th through 8th grade students. 

For more information about the PACE program, please send us an email at info@penncenter.com. To expedite processing, please include "PACE" or "Program for Academic and Cultural Enrichment" in the subject line. 

  • Land Use and Environmental Education (LUEE) Program

To combat the threat of rapid commercial development and land loss along the Gullah Geechee coastal communities, the Penn Center’s leadership led to the institutionalization of one very important component of community sustainability—land ownership and retention.

In 1972, Penn established the Land Use and Environmental Education (LUEE) Program to assist native islanders with issues of land retention and stewardship through education and legal services. As a result, the Center negotiated a unique landmark proviso with Beaufort County to institute an heir’s property exemption to preserve tens of thousands of acres of black-owned land. Penn also led the effort in land-use planning by working with Country officials and environmentalists to carve out zoning laws to protect and preserve valuable cultural and environmental assets on St. Helena Island and other parts of the county.

More recently, under its environmental stewardship program, the Penn Center has placed more than 250 acres of its 500 acres in a conservation easement with the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. In 1974, the Penn Center became a National Historic Landmark District.

For more information about the LUEE program, please send us an email at info@penncenter.com. To expedite processing, please include "LUEE" or "Land Use and Environmental Education Program" in the subject line.