Cradle to Career Collaborative

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) is a non-profit organization committed to closing the academic achievement gap for all children in the tri-county region, from cradle to career, with an emphasis on those who are impacted the most — black and brown children, and those living in poverty. 

Tri-County Cradle to Career engages in a unique approach to making systems change — broad-based collaboration among all sectors —
that impacts education.

TCCC is a community movement in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, SC, committed to improving educational outcomes for ALL students.

 To Affect
   We Must
Create Change

Who We Are

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC)
TCCC’s vision is that all children are embraced by our community as our own and supported to reach their full potential in school and in life, cradle to career. Our mission is to build collective power to transform education by changing systems that allow Black and brown children to achieve their goals. We have brought together a cradle to career network to address the persistent and systemic educational inequities in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. With the support of back-bone Team staff, we work to close the educational equity gaps at every stage along the cradle to career educational journey. Using the StriveTogether collective impact framework, we are aligning around a common vision, using data to hold each other accountable, taking collective action, and advocating for equitable, systemic change.

TCCC is dedicated to becoming an anti-racist organization. We have committed to examining how racism lives in each of us as individuals and in the fabric of our organization and its policies, culture, and traditions. We hold ourselves accountable to equitable and excellent outcomes in the tri-county region in which we work by providing consistent, transparent, and candid reviews to our staff, Board, and partners on our strategies and commitments. We are also committed to educating ourselves and taking action over time to grow an anti-racist organization. We come to this task with deep humility, knowing that we have much to learn.

We seek to create significant and deep impact in each of the 6 Cradle to Career milestone areas:

  • Students will enter kindergarten ready to learn.
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in 3rd grade.
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in 8th grade.
  • Students will graduate high school ready to succeed in college or the modern-day workforce. 
  • Students will master critical math and literacy concepts in 3rd grade. 
  • Students who enroll in college or a career program will graduate ready to enter the modern-day workforce.

Our Mission: Closing the Achievement Gap

Our Unique Approach

Tri-County Cradle to Career is the only organization in the community that solves tough, community challenges by utilizing the five important elements of the Collective Impact Approach:

Common Agendas • Shared Measurement • Mutually Reinforcing Activities • Continuous Communication • Backbone Support

We know that success happens faster and more often when groups work collaboratively, sharing ideas. TCCC is not a direct service provider or a funder. We do not look at the issue of education in isolation, but rather, we believe that the problems of education can best be tackled by individual groups representing the community coming to the table as one.

Our Commitment to Students & Families

• Policy and program solutions built upon a solid racial equity foundation
•  Solutions that balance technology with social and emotional learning
• A “new normal” for children and families navigating education and health systems in a COVID-19 environment
• Community-led solutions that provide a nexus of activity between parents, educators, businesses and service providers

Tri-County Cradle to Career  Collaborative

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) is a non-profit organization committed to closing the academic achievement gap for all children in the tri-county region, from cradle to career, with an emphasis on those who are impacted the most — black and brown children, and those living in poverty.

Data repeatedly tells us that the outcomes for this group of children are far worse than for their white counterparts.

Tri-County Cradle to Career engages in a unique approach to making systems change — broad-based collaboration among all sectors — that impacts education. 

Our commitment starts by forming lasting partnerships between community leaders and stakeholders, businesses, teachers, students, and families with real-life experiences to identify persistent achievement gaps and implement solutions that will change the education system. By aligning community resources, removing barriers, and promoting collaborative efforts, TCCC is committed to building a regional culture where all students have access to the support and resources they need to obtain a solid education, secure a good job, and live a quality life.

Putting children and families at the center of the discussion allows us to finally have an authentic, data-driven conversation that identifies systemic solutions and paves the way for children of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

Message from

CEO Phyllis Martin

Next month will mark my one-year anniversary with TCCC. I could not have imagined that only a few short months later, we would be facing a pandemic and a call for social, racial, and economic justice. Like you, I long for the days when things were "normal". But I understand that normal was never good enough for so many of our region's children and families, and so our work at TCCC continues.

A few weeks ago, I attended StriveTogether's National Convening. The theme of the conference was "The Power of You". I was inspired by the amazing and impactful work going on across the country in communities like ours — communities that have banded together to use their collective power to change systems that have resulted in better educational outcomes for children.

Make no mistake, their work in changing systems has taken time, resources, compromise, tenacity, and the understanding that every child has the capacity to learn and that every person, business, and organization has a particular role to play in creating this change.

If you are already active with Cradle to Career, your time and expertise are greatly appreciated. If you're not, we need you now more than ever! Please join this movement by sharing your feedback, thoughts, and ideas, by joining a committee, or making a financial donation now.

2015-2019 Reports

Many factors that affect a child’s ability to learn are found outside the classroom and exist well before a child reaches school age. From prenatal care to strong relationships with positive adult role models, these factors can have a significant influence on a student’s likelihood for success. This report highlights some of the initiatives TCCC partners have already implemented to address the social issues that impact educational outcomes for children in our community. By maintaining focus on both factors inside the classroom and beyond, we have the opportunity to help every child succeed.

The use of data to guide decision-making and make continuous improvements is a key element of the collective impact approach. Eight “Core Indicators” that mark milestones along a student’s educational path from birth to workforce readiness were selected based on national research and broad community input. These Core Indicators appear on the pages that follow and are expressed for the region as a whole, with a preliminary look at where we are and where we have been. Their exclusive purpose is to guide our collaborations and serve as the primary measures of our community’s progress.

Download full report

Since our organization was formed, TCCC has focused on learning more about the state of education in our community, including how children are performing today, the factors influencing their performance and the history, relationships and circumstances shaping the response to those factors. Last year’s Regional Education Report focused on the state of our education system as measured by eight core indicators – making clear where we are starting from and establishing a way to track our community’s progress.

This year, in addition to providing updates on the core indicators and proposing preliminary targets for 2025, the report takes a closer look at our vision statements to see where we stand, what we’ve learned, what key factors we must address, and what we’re doing to start moving the needle.

Download full report

As a community-wide movement, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) has spent the last five years analyzing the state of education in the region in order to identify the factors that must be addressed to start moving the needle on our eight core indicators (see page 4). Annually, TCCC’s Regional Education Report benchmarks how well students are progressing by using data to understand where we are now, where we are going and what needs to be done to ensure every child is prepared for college or career.

In this Report, you will also find success stories and bright spots from throughout the tri-county region. Though there is much work still to be done, the region has seen the initial benefits of partners coming together around a common agenda. Through collaboration, and with each of you, we know this region will achieve even more. We encourage you to study the data in this report, ask questions, start community conversations, and keep working every day to ensure that every child is supported cradle to career.

Download full report

As a community, we have proven either unwilling or unable so far to provide from infancy the support that all children and their families need to be ready for school. Then when a student leaves high school, whether as a graduate or dropout, they are sent off largely unready and unsupported. This is systems failure at its worst and at a very high cost in human potential. It is not the fault of any one child, teacher, parent, principal or superintendent; indeed, many are making heroic efforts to change the system. Rather, it is every citizen’s responsibility.

This report is about provoking the disruption of the status quo so that meaningful, systemic improvement that results in significantly improved student outcomes takes place. “Constructive” disruption has the purpose of building something better. In the following pages, we will faithfully report the data that show little or no progress. We will also point to what needs to happen to overcome the inequity and injustice of what’s happening to our children and, frankly, to the adults doing their best within a system that is failing them as well.

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This report – for the fifth consecutive year – documents little progress in how well we, as a region, educate our children. As a result of our work, we’ve learned some things: We know it doesn’t have to be this way. We know every child has the ability to learn. We know systemic racism in education, and in other systems like housing and healthcare, is preventing significant numbers of children, through no fault of their own, from reaching their full potential. We know that despite the best efforts of many educators, the public education system widens the gap among white, Black and Hispanic children in every school.

Just reporting proficiency and readiness rates along with the 2025 targets – agreed upon by community leaders in 2016 – is no longer enough. It has become clear that insufficient attention to equity is the central issue impeding educational attainment. This report first identifies how inequity shows itself across the continuum (pages 5-11), then transitions to actions and disruptions that are needed to cause public education to support the success of every child from birth (pages 12-13). Systems change is hard, takes time and requires that all of us think and act differently with respect to equity for children.

Download full report

Contact Us

1691 Turnbull Avenue, Suite 202

North Charleston, SC 29405


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