Partner with SAM
Partnering with SAM is an agreement that aligns Partners and their organizations across Spartanburg County in support of the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), a long-term, sustaining, county-wide movement in pursuit of high academic achievement at every level from cradle to career.
This movement aims toward a significant generational gain in educational attainment, particularly post-secondary attainment; and toward a county-wide culture shift that places ever higher value on education.
Partners recognize that the economic competitiveness and social well-being of Spartanburg County is heavily dependent upon the workforce readiness and post- secondary achievement of its citizens.
Partners recognize that academic achievement rates at every level county- wide must move upward if post-secondary achievement rates are to improve substantially. No isolated intervention can accomplish this purpose. The challenge is large-scale; and large-scale, cross-sector collaboration is required.
Partners recognize that the large-scale providers in Spartanburg County are its public and private schools and colleges; and that it is only through them and in partnership with them that improvements “at scale” in educational achievement can be realized.
Partners support the pursuit of a shared set of achievement measures at each stage of the academic continuum, cradle to career; and to escalating targets of achievement on every measure, distinguishing Spartanburg County from its competitor counties across the state, the region, and the nation.
As a Parent
How important is a parent or caregiver's support during a child's educational growth?
According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, students with involved parents are more likely to:
- Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs
- Be promoted, pass their classes and earn credits
- Attend school regularly
- Have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school
- Graduate and go on to post-secondary education
And according to the National PTA, when parents are involved, students have: increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs and alcohol, fewer instances of violent behavior.
The entire family – parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents – plays a role. We encourage you to make the commitment to make your home an environment that encourages excellence.
As a Business Leader
We know that individuals who earn a college degree are less likely to live in poverty, are healthier, and earn more over their lifetime. Yet the benefits go well beyond the individual.
Increasing post-secondary education is critical for South Carolina is to be economically competitive, according to Dr. Garrison Walters, Executive Director of the SC Commission on Higher Education.
An educated and trained workforce adds benefit to its community by attracting businesses, reducing costs for local government, and decreasing incarceration numbers. In the end, having an educated county is good for business.
Investing in education is a smart investment. A 2009 study by the Commonwealth of Virginia found that, for every dollar spent on higher education, more than $13 (2007 dollars) in job‐creating economic activity is realized. Just imagine if each business in Spartanburg County showed its investment in education.
You can get involved in a number of ways, including:
- Investing in education. Your leadership is critical in funding programs to help create an educated community for our knowledge-based economy.
- Supporting a local school. We can help you connect with a local school to donate supplies or provide your employees a structured way to volunteer. You can also go thought the Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Connect program to show your willingness for certain school-based activities.
- Encourage your employees to be active in their children’s education. Allow employees some flexibility if they wish to attend a parent-teacher conference or back-to-school event at their child’s school.
As a Teacher
The key agents of change are our schools and our colleges, all of which demonstrate the capacity and the commitment to achieve the vision. The very first signers of SAM “Partnership Agreements” are our 7 superintendents and our 7 college presidents. These are our most crucial Partners. If an “at scale” impact on academic achievement is to be accomplished across the County, it must be owned by the “at scale” providers: our educational institutions.
Spartanburg County’s 7 school districts are competitive, yet collaborative. They innovate; they learn quickly; they build on the successes of one another. Their operations and innovations are uniquely structured to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Each one leads the State on one measure or another. Each is well led with capable and dedicated teachers and staff.
In fact, our schools are already delivering on the at-scale changes we seek. County-wide numbers on the crucial indicators of third grade reading, eighth grade math, high school exit scores, graduation rates, and post-secondary achievement rates are climbing year upon year, from 2010 to the present.
As a Volunteer
Being part of a culture that encourages educational attainment means openly talking about the importance of education and showing an active interest in the future of students (no matter their ages). That is our #1 need from the community: actively, vocally, and enthusiastically support education!
The education community of Spartanburg County has other programs events throughout the year that need support.
There are a number of opportunities in schools (whether they are one-time events or regular classroom visits) in addition to programs that count on adult role models to enhance the lives of youth (like mentoring and after-school programs).
SAM also collaborates on events around the county that encourage students to strive for college, which require support.
Please contact us if you want to get involved and we will work with you to find the best opportunity for you!