SAM has provided the table around which efforts to expand quality in 4K instruction have been discussed, debated, planned and formed, and monitored on behalf of Spartanburg County children. A fourth year of funding, expanding the reach of the proven Quality Counts initiative in Spartanburg County, is the highlight of this Spartanburg Herald Journal Article. Staff member Beth Thompson, Director of Continuous Improvement, has worked with County school districts in framing and presenting the grant requests and progress monitoring of the expansion. “All of the scientific research tells us that those birth-to-5 years are scientifically critical to their future success because of the amount of brain development happening during that time. Every moment we have with young children is critical,” Beth is quoted as saying in the article.
The SAM team was beyond thrilled that Spartanburg was selected for a site visit and talk time with New York Times columnist David Brooks as he investigate the StriveTogether network and national movement. When his ARTICLE came out, coinciding with the opening of the 2018 Strive Together Convening, the theme “Go Far, Go Together” could not have been more appropriate. We encourage you to read all about it.
Spartanburg leaders were ready to come to the table to share the Spartanburg Academic Movement and StriveTogether story.
The Spartanburg Herald Journal caught up with Upstate educational leaders, including SAM’s executive director, Dr. John Stockwell and Board Member Dr. Russell Booker, along with SAM Partner Dr. Laura Reynolds from the USC Upstate School of Education. Their Facetime from Finland interview resulted in this first look at key learning from the contingent’s exploration of the Finnish school system’s successes.
The Spartanburg Academic Movement has been awarded a significant grant to support its impact efforts in Spartanburg County's highest poverty schools and in schools county-wide.
Maintaining the Momentum Story: http://www.goupstate.com/news/20180728/transforming-summer-slide-into-summer-climb
Related Teacher Focus Story: http://www.goupstate.com/news/20180729/empathy-is-everything-for-district-6-literary-coach
Coverage also shared a student success story. Though not related specifically to Summer Slide/Climb, it highlights a students journey through the local schools as she heads off to the second leg of her post-secondary studies. http://www.goupstate.com/news/20180729/former-ep-todd-student-pursuing-college-dream
Rather than letting their skills "slide" over the summer holidays, many students across the county have participated in "Summer Climb" camps, working to strengthen and build skills before starting school again. All seven Spartanburg County schools participated in SAM's effort to ensure rising 2nd graders participated.
District Two schools used some of their funds from SAM to provide an incentive shopping experience shown HERE on Fox Carolina news.
It's about so much more than pencils, paper, and books. Or teachers, schools, principals, and parents. The lives of the children in our educational system are complex, with many of those multiform issues impacting learning. This May 2018 PODCAST shares some of Adam Orr's perspectives having taken over reporting these issues for The Four Schools Project news features being offered as a serious look into what happens behind the scenes in the lives and education of our Spartanburg County children.
Spartanburg Herald Journal 10.19.2017
SAM brought Early Childhood Development experts together to form a collaborative Action Network focused on improving children's readiness to achieve Kindergarten success. One result of the group's work drew grant funds from the SC Education Oversight Committee (EOC) into Spartanburg to connect the Quality Counts program of support for early childhood classes with 4K programs within the County. One District's result was highlighted in recent news: Read the full story
Since that program launched, morel funds have been brought in to replicate that successful work in other county classrooms, with additional funding being secured and sought for continued efforts to expand the success.
Update: January 2018
SAM has launched its latest effort to share key learnings from its work by releasing Research Briefs. The goal is to share specific project results with the community in a timely manner and in a way that the findings can encourage local collaborative action and inform collective impact around related additional needs identified within Spartanburg County. The Quality Counts brief highlights key findings from the effort referenced in the article above.
The Spartanburg Academic Movement's effort to improve student achievement in reading, provided grants to local school districts to provide summer reading camps to rising second graders. The goal was to prevent/eliminate the summer slide factor early in a child's skill development rather than waiting until gaps showed up in third grade test scores, the point at which the state requires intervention.
News outlets highlighted efforts by grant recipients participating in this proactive approach to improvement students achievement:
Reading Programs Seek To Prevent Summer Slide
Spartanburg Herald Journal: June 9, 2017
Spartanburg, SC - Teachers, parents and child care providers are working to prevent local students’ reading skills from slipping during the summer months.
The “summer slide,” as it’s been called, refers to the negative impact time away from the classroom can have on students and the knowledge they retain. Efforts to reduce that problem locally can be found in summer reading camps and special instruction at schools, child care facilities and local colleges. Read more
District 7 Reading Program Mixes Pups and Paperbacks
Spartanburg Herald Journal: June 19, 2017
Six-year-old Claire Reed, a rising second-grader in Spartanburg School District 7, is just one of a handful of students who got the opportunity to read to a couple of new canine companions on Monday.
Each Monday morning in June, a group of students between second and fourth grade from all over District 7 come to Houston Elementary School and are given the opportunity to read children’s books to dogs provided by the Spartanburg Humane Society. Read more
Upstate School District Uses Social Media To Encourage, Reward, Summer Learning
Watch here WYFF4: June 27, 2017
Spartanburg School District 2 Says Summer Learning Program Producing Positive Results
Watch here WSPA: June 21, 2017
Media Release 10.20.2017
CINCINNATI, OHIO — After 17 years as chancellor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. John Stockwell joined an effort to pursue high levels of academic achievement for children in Spartanburg County where he now serves as Executive Director of the Spartanburg Academic Movement. His long focus on helping kids succeed is why he has been selected for the Bill Henningsgaard Cradle to Career Champion Award by StriveTogether, a national nonprofit organization working to improve education for every child. Read more
SPARTANBURG, SC — After learning of the prestigious award, The Spartanburg Academic Board issued their own public statement of appreciation for Dr. Stockwell's leadership of the countywide movement to affect systems change to in support of student achievement along a cradle to career continuum. The statement highlighted several of SAM's achievements within its first three years of operation. Read more
Media Release 9.21.2017
SPARTANBURG ACADEMIC MOVEMENT TO PRESENT AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE
StriveTogether event to draw nationwide community, education and nonprofit leaders
PHOENIX, ARIZ. —The Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) will Be The Change during the Strive Together national convening event in Phoenix, Arizona Oct. 3-5 SAM staff will join more than 400 community leaders from across the country for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network Convening, Be the Change: Getting Results for Every Child.
SAM Staff members Ida Thompson, Program and Network Manager; and Beth Thompson, Director of Collaborative Action Networks, will present “Collaborative Action in Action,” highlighting the journey to success for the Kindergarten Success Collaborative Action Network (KSCAN) group working throughout Spartanburg County to impact kindergarten readiness. Read More
Media Release 9.22.2017
Spartanburg, SC — The Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) has hired Sharon Lauer as a full-time Project Manager. Her primary focus will be working with Ms. Beth Thompson, Director of Collaborative Action Networks, to meet goals set for the College/Career Ready High School Graduation outcome area in SAM’s Cradle-to-Career work in education. The Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce and Spartanburg County schools have provided funding for this expansion of SAM’s collective impact work to improve student outcomes. Read More
Media Release 5.1.2017
Spartanburg, SC — Craig Haydamack, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Milliken & Company has joined the Board of Directors of the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM.)
“To have senior level executives from our local corporate community is key to our success. There are so many standards of excellence and expertise in the for profit sector that can be applied to advance our educational achievement efforts. We look forward to benefiting from Mr. Haydamack’s expertise and passion for academic success in Spartanburg County and South Carolina,” said Jennifer Evins, Chair of the SAM Board of Directors. Read More
Media Release 4.2.2017
Local Leaders Tapped to Impact Early Grade Reading Achievement
Spartanburg, SC — The Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) is one of five national partnerships selected this year to receive coaching and funding to accelerate its county-wide academic achievement goals through an Accelerator Fund Award. The award will speed the rate at which SAM’s efforts positively impact educational outcomes for children in Spartanburg County. SAM is part of the seventy member national StriveTogether learning network that provides support for implementing effective change across the cradle-to-career educational continuum. Read More