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Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award 2017

Make Summer Count, 2017 WhatWorksSC Award Winner
Row 1 (l-r): Caroline Mauldin, Andrea Rizzo, Ansel Sanders, Secretary Riley,
Grier Mullins, Angel Williams, Neha Parthasarathy and Kelly Brown
Row 2 (l-r): Craig Stine, Lee Yarborough, Pat Robertson, Ed Good, Jonathan Dunagin,
Neil Grayson and John Kaup

Seventh Annual Dick & Tunky Riley WhatWorksSCTM Award for Excellence

A celebration of what works in education

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
12:30 - 2 p.m.

On October 24, 2017, Furman University’s Riley Institute and South Carolina Future Minds hosted a celebration of what works in public education. Three finalists for the annual WhatWorksSC award were selected from Riley’s WhatWorks Clearinghouse through a rigorous scoring process and were honored at the event. Former two-term Governor of South Carolina and United States Secretary of Education Dick Riley named this year’s winner, Public Education Partners' Make Summer Count (Greenville County), and presented the award to the group. The award is named for Secretary Riley and his late wife, Ann “Tunky” Riley, a dedicated teacher and passionate advocate for quality public education.  

We were joined by special guests Representative Rita Allison (bio) and Representative James Smith (bio), who discussed public education with Linda O’Bryon (bio), president and CEO of South Carolina ETV.

For sponsors of the Seventh Annual Dick & Tunky Riley What WorksSC Award for Excellence, click here.

Below are videos of the three 2017 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC award finalists:    

As the top award recipient, Public Education Partners' Make Summer Count (Greenville County), received $5000 to support its ability to share its story and continue to expand throughout South Carolina. Make Summer Count (Greenville County) combats summer reading loss by encouraging students and families in 29 high-need public elementary schools to remain engaged in reading through the summer by providing students with free, new, self-selected, high-interest books and hosting school-based Family Reading Nights. Learn more about Make Summer Count.

The two finalists, Camp iRock and Innovate!, each received a $1,000 award. 

Camp iRock (Pickens County), a partnership of the United Way, YMCA and the School District of Pickens County, which is a free summer camp for rising 2nd-4th below grade-level readers with the goal of minimizing summer reading loss, promoting literacy and improving attitudes about learning. Learn more about Camp iRock.

Innovate! program at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School (Greenville County), which helps at-risk children beginning the summer before third grade and continuing through high school by providing academic instruction, creative teaching, mentoring, and various enrichment opportunities year round.  Learn more about Innovate!


About WhatWorksSC

The WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse showcases initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools.

WhatWorksSC ties strategies for world-class schools in South Carolina to promising in-state initiatives. The resource includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies, and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools. WhatWorksSC is continually seeking information about exemplary education initiatives for inclusion in the clearinghouse, and welcomes ongoing nominations for consideration for succeeding years’ awards.

Creation of WhatWorksSC was driven by “In Their Own Words: A Public Vision for Educational Excellence in South Carolina.” This study, the largest ever done in South Carolina and unique nationally, details key strategies for creating world-class schools in South Carolina, derived from 3,000 focus group hours with more than 800 stakeholders. It was conducted by the Riley Institute in 2005 and 2006 with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors of the
eventh Annual Dick and Tunky Riley What WorksSCTM Award for Excellence

Press Coverage

Furman University Press ReleaseGreenville JournalThe StateFurman University Press Release annoucing the winners