Harvest to give schools $1.7M

May 8, 2013

From Bulletin staff reporters:

The Harvest Foundation has approved two more years of funding for the K-12 Education Initiative in the Henry County Schools, Martinsville Public Schools and Carlisle School. 

The support for Phase II, Years 4 and 5 of the K-12 Education Initiative, will total $1,714,000, according to a news release from Harvest.

During the first three years of Phase II of the initiative, districts improved student performance at advanced levels on state assessments, the release stated. They also recruited more students to participate in advanced classes, such as Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, Governor’s School and International Baccalaureate Diploma. 

Years 4 and 5 will help further professional and leadership development and technical assistance for the schools and evaluation of the impact of the program.

The three goals of the next two years will be to continue the implementation of rigorous, career-focused curriculum that focuses on 21st century workplace skills, to encourage the districts to strengthen their partnerships among the three entities and with local higher education and business partners, and to continue to ensure students are performing at high levels. 

The K-12 Education Initiative has existed for nine years.

Officials with all three school divisions praised Harvest’s support of their efforts. 

“Henry County is fortunate to have a partner like The Harvest Foundation. The investments they have made in the community have already yielded positive returns,” said Dr. Jared Cotton, superintendent of Henry County schools. “Investing in professional development for teachers and administrators through this initiative means improved instruction for our students. Certainly, support from The Harvest Foundation is helping us ensure that all students are well-prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. I’m looking forward to our ongoing collaboration.”

“The support of The Harvest Foundation has played a critical role in our ongoing efforts to continually improve,” said Pam Heath, superintendent of the Martinsville schools. “True school improvement requires rigorous, sustained and job-embedded professional development for teachers and administrators. 

“The Harvest Foundation board’s substantial commitment to education in our community has enabled us, along with our partnering educational entities, to participate in cutting-edge training and technical assistance activities,” she added. “We are all in this together, to ensure that every student is ‘college and career ready.’ I am extremely grateful for The Harvest Board’s support and for its understanding that education is the essential key in truly transforming our community for the betterment of all our citizens.”

“The contribution from The Harvest Foundation has enabled our schools to quite literally transform what we are providing to the students. The Initiative has given us hope, a sense of direction and a sense of purpose that has led to positive change in our community,” added Barry Dorsey, interim head of school of Carlisle School. 

Angela Logan, program officer for The Harvest Foundation, praised the school systems.

“Our teachers and administrators come in every day with a commitment to helping all of our students succeed, regardless of their background,” she said. “Our schools have adopted strategies to ensure this success, and are producing students poised with the knowledge and skills to compete in a global economy. We are delighted to continue to partner with our districts as they work to move our students from ‘good’ to ‘great.’”


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