The Spartanburg Academic Movement has received tremendous support from the Spartanburg Herald Journal as a media partner in the work to build educational success across Spartanburg County, SC. After SAM’s executive director, Dr. John Stockwell, shared the work of SAM, its partners, and specific project areas with Herald Journal executive editor Michael Smith, the Herald Journal responded by launching an in-depth coverage initiative to increase community understanding of the challenges and responses to key issues surrounding student success.
Topics have been guided by the early factor analysis for The Four Schools Project an area of SAM work that identifies and addresses the unique factors influencing educational success for children living in poverty. The article series launch in February 2018 was paired with a FB Live interview with Stockwell about The Four Schools Project.
The need for early childhood education, support for transient children, strategies for helping children who bring ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) with them into the classroom, and most recently, the challenges faced by English language learners are key topics covered in the series. Each article has been deeply researched with related stories published simultaneously highlighting the efforts of community educators and bright spots in the lives of children facing some of these challenges. As The Four Schools Project work continues, the Herald Journal remains committed to following the stories as they unfold; as the Spartanburg community as a whole digs more deeply into the key factors influencing its children, and as SAM leads an effort to unite partners from all sectors in efforts to surround these challenges with solutions.
The first lead reporter on this project was Zach Fox. Reporter Adam Orr, took over the coverage project. The Herald Journal also broadcast a ‘behind the reporting’ perspective interview with Orr, bringing additional insights into the needs The Four Schools Project. We are deeply thankful to have the Herald Journal fully committed to raising awareness about the challenges facing our children and how our educators are working to meet their needs.
SAM’s initial efforts to turn Summer Slide into Summer Climb with a pilot for early intervention were covered in multiple stories in the summer of 2017. The next installment of the Herald Journal’s coverage is expected later this summer with follow-up on the Summer Climb initiatives.
Updated (7/31/18) List of Articles with links:
Series Launch: 2/24/2018
English Language Learners: 6/17/18
Turning Summer Slide into Summer Climb: 7/29/18
Summer Climb/Summer Learning (2017 Coverage)