Kisner Foundation grant will benefit athletes in Aiken County Public Schools

February 27, 2019

Aiken County Public Schools received a grant from the Kisner Foundation on Tuesday to conduct pre-concussion screenings on all district athletes.

Kevin and Brittany Kisner, the founders of the Kevin & Brittany Kisner Foundation, and foundation board members presented the $15,691 grant to the district at the Aiken County School Board’s regular meeting Tuesday. Kevin Kisner is a professional golfer from Aiken.

“A big part or our program is to give back to this community,” Kisner said.

The money from the grant will cover the baseline tests for approximately 3,800 athletes in Aiken County, according to the grant application.

All athletes will be tested, regardless of sport or economic status. All athletes from all sports will be tested, regardless of whether the sport is considered a contact sport, according to the grant application.

Every athlete will be tested before his or her first competition.

“The cool part of this program is there will be a baseline for each student at the beginning of the year,” Kisner said. “Everybody is different and starts at a different level. These kids are tested at the beginning of the year, so we can always refer back to that baseline to understand where they started.”

The grant honors David Massie, a brother of Dr. Vaughan Massie, a member of the foundation’s board. Dr. Massie is an orthopedic surgeon who covers Aiken area sports and USC Aiken. His brother, 36, recently was hit by a car on James Island in Charleston County and died from a traumatic brain injury.

The Kevin & Brittany Kisner Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to creating a positive environment for children to grow into responsible adults, according to its website. Charitable funding is provided for organizations that promote children’s fitness, health, education and opportunities to participate in sports.

The grant for pre-concussion testing is the first of 13 the foundation expects to award this year, according to an email from the foundation.

During consent items, the board approved dates for the 2019-20 School Board meetings.

The approved dates reduce the number of meetings in November from two to one. The board also will meet only once a month in July, December and April. The board meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of the other months.

The board will discuss the meeting time at the March 12 meeting.

The board will hold four meetings away from the district office at Silver Bluff High on Sept. 10; Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School on Nov. 12; North Augusta Middle School on Jan. 28, 2020; and the new Aiken Intermediate School on March 24, 2020.

During public participation, a parent with students at Hammond Hill Elementary, Paul Knox Middle and North Augusta High spoke to the board about the amount of tests students are required to take.

“My question is how much of this is necessary? Why do we have so many things testing for the same thing?” she said.

Two parents of students at Hammond Hill also expressed concerns are testing and other academic and safety issues at the board’s meeting Feb. 12.