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Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award 2014

Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty, Francis Marion University

Fourth Annual Dick and Tunky Riley What WorksSCTM Award for Excellence

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC
Thursday, October 2, 2014
12:30 - 2 p.m.

Honoring highly effective education initiatives in South Carolina

The Riley Institute at Furman and South Carolina Future Minds presented the annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence to one of three finalists in recognition of their outstanding education initiatives in South Carolina. For the program, click here.

Congratulations to Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty, Francis Marion University, winner of the $5,000 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence! Many thanks to our sponsors for their generous sponsorship of this award. Learn more about the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty.

The two finalists for the award, Communities in Schools of Greenville County (CIS) and Reach Out and Read South Carolina, Statewide Initiative, each received $1,000.

Communities in Schools of Greenville County (CIS) assists underserved youth to get the assistance they need to stay in school by surrounding the students with a community of support, by empowering them to stay in school and by achieving in life. Learn more about CIS.

The Reach Out and Read South Carolina model promotes early literacy and school readiness, improves developmental outcomes for children growing up in poverty, and prepares children entering kindergarten to succeed. Learn more about Reach Out and Read South Carolina.


A Conversation with Linda O'Bryon and Dick Riley


The mission of Communities in Schools (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  CIS provides targeted case management, holistic after-school programs, parenting support, behavioral interventions and community referrals – all offered in a school-based setting.
Contact: Susi Smith, executive director / 864.250.6737 /

The mission of the Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty is to increase the success of under-resourced students through its support of pre- and in-service teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders. Guided by an aggressive research agenda, more than a decade of work led to the development of standards and strategies, an acclaimed action research model for sustained professional learning, and South Carolina's Add-On Certification for teachers of children of poverty, all of which are infused in the Center's institutes, workshops, coursework, and district- and school-level outreach programming.
Contact: Tammy Pawloski, Ph.D., director, FMU Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty / 843.661.1475 /

Reach Out and Read prepares our youngest children living in low-income communities to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Providers are able to impact children with literacy education and materials from the earliest possible ages, and Reach Out and Read supports physicians and their practices to make reading a “doctor-recommended” activity, and encourages parents to continuously administer healthy doses of reading aloud at home. 
Contact: Callee Boulware, executive director / 828-290-9049 /
Semifinalists for the 2014 WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence were selected from more than 80 nominees. Congratulations from the The Riley Institute at Furman and  South Carolina Future Minds to our 2014 semifinalists.

They are:

To submit an entry for our 2015 award, click here.

Press Coverage

The Greenville News

Many thanks to our co-presenters, South Carolina State Board of Education and the South Carolina
Chamber of Commerce, and for the generous support from Childs and Halligan, PA, the South Carolina
Association of School Administrators, the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee
and the South Carolina School Board Association.

Our great thanks to SCETV for the production of the finalists’ video features.