Martinsville, Henry County Educators to Report Progress

August 16, 2005

MARTINSVILLE, VA.?- Educators from private and public school systems in Martinsville and Henry County will report on Aug. 15 about progress made to improve student achievement under the Kindergarten-12th Grade Education Initiative supported by The Harvest Foundation.

The reports will recognize the hard work, professionalism and dedication of teachers and administrators at public schools in Martinsville and Henry County, and at the private Carlisle School.

On Tuesday, the initiative also will sponsor a presentation by Dr. Carol Tomlinson of the University of Virginia. She will speak to local educators on Differentiated Education. Tomlinson is a nationally-recognized education expert who has been working with Henry County teachers through the initiative.

"The Harvest Foundation is delighted to have this opportunity to hear about and share among all local educators work being done to enhance our area schools and to give our children the opportunity to pursue an outstanding education. We also are pleased to have this chance to recognize and to thank the educators who teach our children. These teachers and administrators have a huge impact on the future of our community. We are grateful for their efforts and honored to be in their presence," said Douglas I. Payne, President of The Harvest Foundation board.

Launched in 2003, these efforts should have? a positive impact on local schools in the near and long term. . Details on recent achievements in these programs will be shared at Monday's meeting.

"The work being done under the Kindergarten - 12th Grade Education Initiative by teachers and administrators in public schools in Martinsville and Henry County, and at the private Carlisle School is impressive. This area has accepted the challenge to bring their schools from good to great through a partnership with The Harvest Foundation. This type of coalition is unusual and innovative. Everyone involved with this effort is intensely dedicated to enhancing student achievement at all levels," said Wilma Hamilton, an educational consultant assisting area schools under the initiative. She also is retired Superintendent of Schools in Sarasota, Fla.

The Kindergarten-12th Grade Education Initiative allows local schools systems broad latitude in developing projects and programs best-suited to their students' needs. Reports on Monday will focus on three specific programs:

  • Differentiated Instruction in Henry County. County schools are working with teachers to enhance their instructional ability with a particular emphasis on Differentiated Instruction. Differentiated Instruction allows classroom educators to use a variety of teaching methods to connect with students who have different learning skills and styles.
  • Effective Practices for Increasing Achievement? in Martinsville. City schools are working to improve math and reading skills for students in all grades through various programs.
  • A Curriculum Project at the Carlisle School. This effort aims to help the school improve student achievement by addressing the needs of a wide range of students from those who are ready for more challenging work to those who need remedial assistance.

The Harvest Foundation is supporting the Kindergarten-12th Grade Education Initiative with $2.685 million in grants authorized to date over a five-year period. Since its formation in 2002, The Harvest Foundation has provided a total of more than $22 million to more than 75 organizations, including those involved in the Kindergarten-12th Grade Education Initiative. All Foundation grants focus primarily in the areas of health, welfare and education and are aimed at benefiting citizens in the Martinsville and Henry County area.

The Harvest Foundation was formed in 2002 following the sale of the Memorial Health System. The foundation oversees an endowment created with proceeds from that transaction. Capital generated by endowment investments supports programs that benefit Martinsville and Henry County residents.

The mission of the Harvest Foundation is to research and to invest responsibly in programs and initiatives to address local challenges in health, education and welfare.


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