Kindergarten Readiness Network meeting

Special thanks to all those Kindergarten Readiness Network (KRN) members who attended today’s meeting to receive updates on various projects and provide feedback on the work going forward!

Notes from the meeting:

  • The KRN’s newborn home-visitation project team is working with the Medical University of South Carolina to develop a pilot project that will incorporate techniques from both Family Connects and MUSC’s telehealth program. The goal is to launch the pilot in the summer of 2019. If successful, the project will be made available to all tri-county hospitals, which serve a combined 9,500 births annually.
  • Bryan Boroughs, with the Institute for Child Success, is working with the KRN to develop a Birth to 8 Framework that is intended to help the network determine priorities for its next phase of work.
  • The TCCC staff is reviewing and discussing different definitions of “equity” in an attempt to establish a new one that can serve to align TCCC’s work with other organizations in the region committed to this end. Members of the KRN and Community Engagement Committee have been asked to provide feedback on varying definitions already in use and help redefine equity for the community.
  • Rev. Bill Stanfield provided an update on the Metanoia Early Childhood Center in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood of North Charleston.
  • TCCC staffers LaTisha Vaughn and John Read spoke about the Kindergarten Readiness Network’s purpose and TCCC’s definition of equity.
  • Trident United Way’s Vice President of Evaluation and Public Policy, Jonathan Rauh, shared Reading by Third data, and TCCC’s Director of Data Management and Analysis, Sarah Piwinski, shared 2017-18 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) results.
  • TCCC’s newest staff member, Thetyka Robinson, Director of Facilitation, introduced herself to the network and led a discussion on who else needs to be in the room.

Lowcountry College and Career Ready Project

Members of the new Lowcountry College and Career Ready Project, a project of the High School Graduation Network and the Lowcountry Education Consortium, met for the first time in December.

The project is convened by Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, chief academic officer for Berkeley County School District.

The tri-county region’s four regional school districts share the common goal of ensuring that students are “future ready,” as defined by both academic standards and the soft skills identified by the local business community in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Common Skills in High Demand report. The report outlines the core expectations for entry-level positions within various career clusters and determines the specific academic proficiencies as well as attributes such as team-working, problem-solving and punctuality required for “readiness.”

The Lowcountry College and Career Ready Project is working on ways to embed these soft skills into the PreK-12th grade school curricula, create a regional report card and begin redesigning other aspects of the system (e.g., teacher professional development, instructional coaching, classroom observation, after school and summer activities) to reflect these new expectations.

National Philanthropy Day Luncheon

Members of the TCCC staff and Board of Directors attended the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Nov. 15 at the Gaillard Center. The S.C. Lowcountry Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized outstanding achievements by local individuals, foundations, small businesses and corporate philanthropists who form a vital partnership with nonprofit organizations to ensure that the needs of its citizens are being met.

Post and Courier investigates S.C. public education system

Huge thanks to The Post and Courier for the “Minimally Adequate” series, an eight-month investigation by five journalists about South Carolina’s public education system. The newspaper also hosted an Inside Business Live event on education and invited TCCC CEO John C. Read to serve as a panelist.

“Lawmakers hold the power to enact change. But the crisis-driven Legislature can’t agree where to start as its attention wanders to myriad other issues. Less than a quarter of lawmakers actually have children in public schools, a Post and Courier poll determined. … Still, The Post and Courier surveyed the South Carolina Statehouse this year and found no clear consensus on the most pressing issues in education. Some lawmakers cited teacher pay; others, classroom spending. Still others wanted to focus on building maintenance, school consolidations and other concerns.”

TCCC is advocating for the systemic education reform referenced in this powerful, must-read series:

Part 1:…/minimally-adequate/page/1
Part 2:
Part 3: 
Part 4: 
Part 5:

Steeplechase of Charleston

Special thanks to The Randolph Company for choosing Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative to serve as the official charity partner for the 2018 Steeplechase of Charleston, held on Nov. 11 at The Racetrack at Stono Ferry!

If you missed the race, you can still help support TCCC by attending the upcoming Steeplechase of Charleston Charity Gala on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at Hibernian Hall (105 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401).

This black-tie optional event will feature silent & live auctions, a delicious dinner, live music and a chance to support TCCC’s work. 100% of all proceeds raised at the event will go directly to TCCC, and we hope you will join us!

Click here to buy tickets.


Regional school district leaders meet with TCCC as Lowcountry Education Consortium

From left: Berkeley County School District Chief Academic Officer Kevin O’Gorman, Charleston County School District Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait, Dorchester School District Two Superintendent Joe Pye, Berkeley County School District Superintendent Eddie Igram, Dorchester School District Four Superintendent Morris Ravenell and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative CEO John C. Read meet.


The four regional superintendents (from Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester School District Two and Dorchester School District Four) meet monthly with Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative as the Lowcountry Education Consortium (LCEC).

Combined, the districts serve approximately 100,000 students. Together, the LCEC is currently collaborating on two projects:

  • The LCEC recognized principal development as a common need among their districts. For the past year, they have been collaborating on the development of a training program at The Citadel to create a pipeline for aspiring principals. Three organizations from around the country that run evidence-based programs focused on training effective principals presented plans to the superintendents and their representatives. The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership was selected. The LCEC is now in the process of getting a final proposal from the center and making fundraising plans. More details will be released at a later date.
  • Members of the LCEC share the common goal of ensuring that students are “future ready,” as defined by both academic standards and the skills identified by the local business community in the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Common Skills in High Demand report. The report outlines the core expectations for entry-level positions within various career clusters and determines both the specific academic skills and the performance level of those skills requested for “readiness” in those jobs. The LCEC is working on ways to embed these skills into the PreK-12th grade school curricula and begin redesigning other aspects of the system (e.g., teacher professional development, instructional coaching, classroom observation, after school and summer activities) to reflect these new expectations.

Group facilitator joins TCCC staff

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative has hired Thetyka Robinson as Director of Facilitation.

Thetyka RobinsonRobinson is responsible for the facilitation of TCCC’s networks, consortia and project teams and for training others to facilitate based on the Tri-County Regional Improvement Process (TRIP!).

In 2014, TCCC created and deployed TRIP! across its networks, consortia and project teams to guide collaborative work. Using funding provided by The Duke Endowment, one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast, TCCC is expanding the tools available within TRIP! and assisting direct-service providers in the region in becoming more results-based. Robinson will serve as the liaison with the organization leading that work and will assist in making the connection between organization outcomes and population metrics.

“Thetyka is an experienced group facilitator with a strong background of work among community groups. I’m looking forward to seeing her lead our facilitation work and believe she will be a great asset to the cradle to career team,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said.

Robinson brings nearly 20 years of experience working in the areas of group facilitation, communications, marketing, branding, campaign development, event planning, program management and donor engagement.

She is the CEO of strategic consulting firm Asiko and has consulted since 2012 on various projects, including co-facilitating a town hall event hosted by Sen. Marlon Kimpson, facilitating focus groups and board trainings for the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities, and leading College of Charleston and Claflin University students through sessions on respecting differences and brand discovery. Robinson previously worked for the South Carolina Federal Credit Union, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ashford University.

To view a PDF version of this press release, click here.

10 educators from across tri-county region chosen for math awards

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching awards.

Public schools in 48 states – including South Carolina – reported mathematics teacher shortages for the 2017-18 school year. In fact, mathematics teacher shortages have been prevalent in South Carolina since 2000.

The tri-county region’s economy now requires a highly educated and skilled labor force, particularly in the STEM disciplines, to remain competitive. Those same economic trends that have made mathematics skills increasingly valuable to students have made it increasingly difficult to attract and retain skilled mathematics teachers.

To honor and put a spotlight on mathematics teachers and administrators who are working tirelessly to train our future work force, TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team recognized excellence in the profession during an event on October 16 at Trident Technical College.

Mathematics professionals from the four regional school districts, who were nominated by their peers, were honored during this “Excellence in Mathematics Teaching” event, sponsored by The Boeing Company. Jennifer Wise, the 2017 S.C. Teacher of the Year who now serves in Lexington School District Two as the instructional services specialist and within the University of South Carolina as an elementary math methods instructor, delivered the keynote address.

“A large body of evidence confirms that teacher effectiveness is a key determinant of students’ academic progress, so we want to take this opportunity to honor those teachers who are having a strong, positive impact,” said Geoff Schuler, a retired Boeing Company executive and convener of TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team. “Teachers deserve society’s respect, and we must continue to find ways to motivate and inspire those in this noble profession.”

Mathematics prepares and develops a student’s mind to accept, analyze and execute complex ideas. It is built level by level, and mastering math fundamentals in the early grades is the gateway to future coursework.

In the tri-county region, 57 percent of third graders met math grade-level standards on the SC READY test in 2017-2018.

“Budget constraints and teacher shortages – particularly for those in STEM subjects – increase pressures on teacher time and severely limit opportunities for sustained professional development.  Students benefit, though, when teachers have the tools and resources they need to supplement math curricula,” said TCCC CEO John C. Read. “We must fund programs and provide time within the school week for continuous learning opportunities that allow educators to advance their skills.”

Winners of the 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching awards each received a trophy and $350.00 to use toward professional development opportunities of their own choosing.

“Education is the key to success, and teachers are at the center of it,” said Anita Zucker, CEO of The InterTech Group and chair of the TCCC Board of Directors. “I hope that each teacher who was nominated feels more respected, more passionate and more appreciated. I am proud of and inspired by each one of them.”

Nominees are listed below:

Lesley Brantley, Dorchester School District Two

Christi Brinson, Dorchester School District Two

Ashley Clemmons, Dorchester School District Two

Sarah Crowe, Charleston County School District

Cindy Fisk, Berkeley County School District

Meghan Lewis, Berkeley County School District

Cheri Modeen, Charleston County School District

Jenell Riley, Charleston County School District

Christine Ryan, Charleston County School District

Christine Trevillyan, Dorchester School District Two

Brittany Wasilowski, Charleston County School District

Meggie Wegmann, Dorchester School District Two

Winners are listed below:

Hanna Cato, Berkeley County School District

Allison Gable, Charleston County School District

Joe Guarino, Charleston County School District

Paula Huggins, Dorchester School District Four

Kristin Kofoid, Dorchester School District Two

Megan Profit, Dorchester School District Two

Gary Seaboldt, Dorchester School District Two

Laney Taylor, Dorchester School District Four

Meg Ward, Berkeley County School District

James Whitehair, Charleston County School District


To view bios and photos of the nominees, winners and speakers, click here.
To view a PDF version of this press release, click here.

TCCC travels to StriveTogether convening in Seattle

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative staff traveled to Seattle last week to participate in the StriveTogether national convening!

Continuing our work to help all students in the tri-county region, we joined more than 500 community leaders from across the country. This year’s theme was Go Far, Go Together: Uniting in Pursuit of Equity for Every Child.

Keynote speakers included activist and educator Brittany Packnett and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

We attended sessions and workshops devoted to building a culture of continuous improvement, eliminating disparities, engaging the community, improving outcomes and leveraging existing assets.

StriveTogether is a national, nonprofit network of 70 communities –including TCCC — using a rigorous approach to accelerate progress and sustain success in education.

Follow #GoFarGoTogetherC2C to see photos and details from the event, and follow us on Twitter at @C2CTriCounty or on Facebook.


TCCC’s approach featured in New York Times

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative uses a collective-impact approach and is a member of StriveTogether, a national, nonprofit network of 70 communities using a rigorous approach to accelerate progress and sustain success in education.

New York Times Opinion Columnist David Books featured our approach and spotlighted our partner Spartanburg Academic Movement in a piece titled “A Really Good Thing Happening in America.”

“Building working relationships across a community is an intrinsically good thing,” Brooks wrote. “You do enough intrinsically good things and lives will be improved in ways you can never plan or predict. This is where our national renewal will come from.”