Combating Summer Learning Loss

To succeed in school and life, children need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months. Statistics show that more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

"Based on current data, which shows that most children typically lose literacy ability over the summer, our students' success is a remarkable feat, especially with children who are from poverty."

In the spring of 2012, the Community Foundation announced it would invest at least $1 million into the Literacy 2030 initiative to provide grants during the next three years to organizations focused on educational attainment and literacy improvement.

St. Lawrence Place (SLP) one of the organizations receiving funding through this program, keeps homeless families and their children together and helps them cultivate the skills to become contributing members of the community. Over the last seven years, the organization has worked diligently to insure that their summer camp program offers more than just childcare, but provides an educational opportunity for the children who so desperately need access to quality developmental, educational and cultural experiences.

In 2012, the Foundation awarded SLP $25,000 to provide a full-day, literacy-based summer program to 32 homeless and impoverished children aged 4-11. The program included daily literacy-based activities and tutoring involving volunteers from Brockman Elementary School and Richland County Public Library as well as weekly cultural activities via field trips to museums, theaters and the zoo.

Pre and post testing showed that the vast majority of students increased their reading fluency during the program. SLP also increased parental involvement through Family Literacy Night events that included a meal along with family reading time and discussion.

After seeing such great results from this program, the Foundation awarded SLP $50,000 in 2013 to continue the summer learning program and expand the literacy component to their after-school program. From June to December of last year, 41 children ages 4-11 were served in the summer and after-school programs.  Interim testing shows that 74% of children improved their literacy skills during that time period with 16% maintaining their level.

“Based on the current body of evidence on summer learning loss across demographics, which  shows that most children typically lose literacy ability over the summer due to ‘summer slide,’ this is a remarkable feat, especially with children who are from poverty,” said Becca Smith Hill, Director of Grants & Special Projects at SLP.

The Community Foundation is proud to support innovative programs in the Midlands that are bettering the lives of children in our community and our community as a whole.

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Cherise Arrendale

Strategic Initiatives & Communications Manager

Cherise implements and monitors all marketing, communications and public relations efforts by the Foundation. She also develops strategies to build brand awareness, manages the Foundation’s online presence, and oversees Midlands Gives, the Foundation’s 24-hour annual giving day.

An Atlanta native, Cherise has a Master of Business Administration degree from USC's Moore School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in music from Furman University. She previously worked for the Peace Center for the Performing Arts and the SC Governor's School for Arts and Humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, playing in a local community band and spending time with her husband and their fluffy Maine Coon cat.

Inquiry from the media? Seeking information about Midlands Gives? Contact Cherise.

(803) 254-5601 x317

cherise@yourfoundation.org

Cortney Bailey

Program Associate

Cortney manages the granting process for all donor advised funds and corporate competitive grants. She also supports all functions within the Foundation by ensuring that policies, procedures and best practices for the database are followed and producing timely reports using this data.

Cortney comes to the Foundation with seven years of prior nonprofit experience. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and enjoys spending her free time with her two wonderful daughters. Her hobbies include woodworking, pottery and relaxing at the beach.

Looking to recommend a grant from your donor advised fund? Or seeking information about competitive grants for Aflac, Sonoco, or Hootie & the Blowfish? Reach out to Cortney.

(803) 254-5601 x332

cortney@yourfoundation.org

Jamie Bray

Advancement Administrative Associate

Jamie is responsible for providing clerical support and event administration for the Advancement Team and supporting other administrative needs across departments. 

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jamie attended college at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Columbia in Spring of 2017. Jamie enjoys walking her German Shepherd mix dog, spending time with family, and playing sand volleyball.

Contact Jamie to RSVP to Foundation events.

 

803-254-5601

Jamie@yourfoundation.org

Brooke Dickerson

Administrative Associate

Brooke provides administrative and clerical support for the President & CEO and the Board of Trustees.  She assists with data entry, grant tracking, database management and grantee mailings.  

Brooke is a native of Douglasville, Georgia. She comes to the Community Foundation with previous administrative experience both in Georgia and for a nonprofit in Rochester, New York. Brooke volunteers with youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with family and friends, joining them in cheering for her favorite baseball and college football teams.

Need to update your contact information or have a question about a gift? Give Brooke a call.

(803) 254-5601 x329

brooke@yourfoundation.org

Erin E. Johnson

Vice President for Community Investment

Erin leads the Foundation’s efforts to increase our impact in the Midlands. She oversees competitive grantmaking, scholarship programs, and program-related initiatives, such as Connected Communities. She also implements community engagement strategies that help connect community needs and opportunities with available resources.

Erin previously served as the Chief Community Investment Officer for South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  She is a proud alumni of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In her spare time, Erin enjoys watching the Tar Heels and Carolina Panthers, reading and spending time with her husband Shawn and daughters Maya and Nina.

Contact Erin for information about the Foundation’s grantmaking or community engagement.

(803) 254-5601 x322

erin@yourfoundation.org

James Mercado, II

Senior Program Associate

James supports the Foundation through the execution of communication strategies. He works to advance the Foundation’s strategic objectives by creating and monitoring communication campaigns across the Foundation’s communication platforms.

A Northern Virginia native, James earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Radford University and has several years of marketing and nonprofit experience.  In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Haylee, and their three kids, Hayden, James III, and Harper.

Questions about the Foundation’s social media or website? Or have a story you want to tell? Give James a call.

(803) 254-5601 x316

james@yourfoundation.org

Kevin L. Patten

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Kevin manages fund balances and investment information for donors, local organizations and agency endowments and directs all finance and accounting functions of the Foundation. He also oversees human resources and office administration for the Foundation.

Kevin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. He is an avid sports fan and can frequently be found rooting for the Miami Hurricanes and spending time with his wife and four children.

Reach out to Kevin for more information about the Foundation’s investment policies, audit inquiries, securities, and other non-cash gifts.

(803) 254-5601 x325

kevin@yourfoundation.org

Jamesha Shackerford

Program Associate

Jamesha oversees the scholarship administrative process by working closely with scholarship fundholders and students. She also works with the Vice President for Community Investment to support the Connected Communities grant initiative and provides logistical support to the Community Impact Committee.

A South Carolina native, Jamesha earned a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Columbia College and minored in dance, an interest she still pursues. She enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends.

Contact Jamesha for information or help with scholarships, Connected Communities applications and reports or the Foundation’s due diligence process.

(803) 254-5601 x301

jamesha@yourfoundation.org

Heather Sherwin

Vice President for Advancement

Heather works with donors to set up charitable funds and collaborates with professional advisors and their clients to fulfill their philanthropic goals. She is responsible for promoting awareness and support for the Foundation among its varied constituencies. She leads the overall communication, public relations and donor relations strategy. Heather also serves as a resource for charitable planning in the Midlands community.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather held fundraising positions with Cleveland Museum of Art, Great Lakes Theater, American Red Cross, Hawken School and The Masters School. While living in Cleveland, Ohio, her hometown, Heather was the third generation to lead her family foundation, The Sherwick Fund, a fund of The Cleveland Foundation. In Columbia, Heather and her life partner, Buddy Register, are currently renovating an historic home in Elmwood.

Contact Heather about starting a fund at the Foundation or for information about planned giving.

(803) 254-5601 x331

heather@yourfoundation.org

Kim Turnipseed

Accounting Manager

Kim supports the finance team with the ongoing financial and accounting responsibilities of the Foundation.  She handles the day to day accounting functions and fund management of the Foundation, along with analyzing, evaluating and recommending process improvements.

She comes to the Foundation with over 20 years of accounting experience, earning her degree in Accounting from Columbia College.

In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her three children, seven grandchildren, family, and 1 dog.

Questions regarding fund statements or invoices, contact Kim.

803-254-5601 x330

kim@yourfoundation.org

JoAnn M. Turnquist

President & CEO

Named president and CEO in 2009, JoAnn works closely with her board of trustees and staff to develop and implement the vision and strategic direction of the Foundation.  She leads a team dedicated to helping individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations establish charitable funds to support causes they care about and make a difference in the Midlands and beyond.

Before joining CCCF, JoAnn served as Vice President for Institutional Sales at The Clorox Company and Johnson Diversey. She is 2013 Riley Diversity Fellow.  JoAnn received the SC Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Community Diversity Award in 2014 and the Engenuity SC Vision Award in 2016. JoAnn enjoys cycling, swimming and reading. She and her husband Ernie are avid golfers and amateur chefs. They share their home and hearts with three dogs and two cats.

Contact JoAnn to learn about the Foundation’s strategic vision or if you have an opportunity for collaboration in the community.

(803) 254-5601 x323

joann@yourfoundation.org

Stories of Philanthropy