Charleston Forum releases video of education panel

The Charleston Forum, held on June 21, included an education panel with: Cindy Ambrose, deputy superintendent of the Charleston County School District; John Read, CEO of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative; Faith River James, assistant provost for leadership at The Citadel; Alana Simmons, creator of Hate Won’t Win and granddaughter of the late Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, Sr.; and Elliot Smalley, superintendent of the SC Public Charter School District. The panel discussion was moderated by Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN commentator.

Click here to watch the Charleston Forum’s education panel.

Sales Tax Holiday planned for August 3-5

The S.C. Department of Revenue has scheduled the annual Sales Tax Holiday for August 3-5!

A variety of back-to-school essentials are exempt from the state’s 6% sales tax and any applicable local taxes starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 3, and ending at midnight on Sunday, August 5.

The following items will be tax-free during the holiday:

  • Clothing
  • Clothing accessories (e.g., hats, scarves, hosiery and handbags)
  • Footwear
  • School supplies (e.g., pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes and calculators)
  • Computers, printers and printer supplies, and computer software
  • Bath wash cloths, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats
  • Blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, pillows and pillow cases

The sales tax holiday does not apply to:

  • Jewelry
  • Cosmetics
  • Eyewear
  • Wallets
  • Watches
  • Furniture
  • Rental of clothing or footwear
  • Items for use in a business
  • Items placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plans

Click here to learn more about the Sales Tax Holiday.

2018 First Day Festival

The City of Charleston’s Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families is hosting the First Day Festival from 1 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 12, at Liberty Square at the SC Aquarium and the Charleston Maritime Center. Parking at the SC Aquarium and Gaillard garages will be $1 during the festival.

Exhibitors will provide information on education and community services, and FREE bags of school supplies will be handed out!

The city is holding a School Supply Drive to collect donations. The most requested supplies are:

  • Pencils and pens
  • Wide-ruled filler paper
  • Wide-ruled composition books
  • Two-pocket folders
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • 12-inch rulers
  • Colored pencils
  • Index cards
  • Tissues
  • Glue and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Erasers

School supplies can be dropped off by Wednesday, August 8, at the following locations:

  • Arthur W. Christopher Community Center
  • Bees Landing Recreation Center
  • Charleston Tennis Center
  • James Island Recreation Center
  • Hazel Parker Playground
  • St. Julian Devine Community Center
  • Charleston Farmer’s Market
  • West Ashley Farmer’s Market

To learn more, visit or call 843.965.4190.


Apply now for Teacher Supply Boxes

Kids in Need Foundation provides FREE Teacher Supply Boxes for teachers in Title I schools, where the rate of free and reduced lunch is 70% or higher.

“Successful applicants will receive TWO large boxes containing a predetermined assortment of essential items, including pencils, scissors, paper, and notebooks,” the Foundation’s website says.

The 2018 application window is open now through August 19. Teachers can apply by clicking here.


IMPACT 360 Summer Success visit

LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon, TCCC’s Director of Networks and Community Engagement, visited IMPACT 360 Summer Success this week. She enjoyed reading with and getting to know so many students during the literacy hour!

“Every summer students from low socio-economic backgrounds fall two months behind peers from higher-income families in academic skills, a deficit that grows to a full academic year by fourth grade,” the Impact 360 Summer Success website says. “The consequences, both in performance and self-esteem, can be devastating for these students and our communities. In 2011, The Rand Corporation published a compelling report about this disturbing summer deficit. Impact 360 Summer Success wants to lead change for these students and the Charleston community.”

About 150 students participate in the six-week experience, which is produced collaboratively by more than 15 non-profits led by Kids on Point (formerly known as Charleston Urban Squash).


WCBD News 2: Teachers needed in all local school districts


Special thanks to Mayci McLeod, with WCBD News 2, for interviewing our CEO, John C. Read, today about the region’s teacher shortage.

Watch John’s interview at

Live 5 News: Local organization challenges state education system

Special thanks to Kolbie Satterfield, with Live 5 News, for stopping by TCCC to interview our CEO, John C. Read, about our advocacy letter!

Watch her story, which aired at 11 p.m. on July 11, at, and sign the letter at

Sign The Letter!

Together, we can do better. U.S. News and World Report ranks South Carolina 48th in the country for education, while our civic, business and faith leaders remain mostly silent. This is systems failure at its worst and at a very cost in human potential. It is no longer acceptable, if it ever was to begin with.

Members of the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) Board of Directors have drafted a letter addressed to other leaders across the state. This letter, which demands better for all children and their families, is a first step in our advocacy efforts to provoke systemic improvement that results in significantly improved student outcomes.

Read the letter at

Along with dozens of other concerned citizens, I’ve signed this letter, and I’m asking you to sign it as well. Please email to have your name included.

Thank you for your support!


John C. Read

TCCC office closed for Independence Day

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative office at 6296 Rivers Avenue, Suite 308 in North Charleston will be closed on July 4 in honor of Independence Day.
Staff will return to the office on July 5.
We hope you have a safe, happy 4th of July!

KIDS COUNT ranks South Carolina 41st in education

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book. South Carolina ranks 41st in Education, 37th in Family and Community, 36th in Health and 34th in Economic Well-Being.

Some South Carolina data points from the report:

  • 74% of 8th graders not proficient in math
  • 71% of 4th graders not proficient in reading
  • 53% (63,000) children age 3-4 not in school
  • 41% (418,000) children in single-parent families
  • 23% (249,000) children living in poverty
  • 17% of high school students not graduating on time
  • 13% (138,000) children living in high-poverty areas
  • 12% (129,000) children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma
  • 4% (44,000) children without health insurance