(Source: Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative)

South Carolina Community Loan Fund is a partner in the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative. Cradle to Career takes a “collective impact” approach – whereby partners share a community vision and intensely align their efforts – to improve educational outcomes for all students in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties of South Carolina.

Currently, nearly two-thirds of third-graders in the tri-county area are reading below their grade level. That number rises to eight in 10 among African American students — a bleak early indicator for high school graduation and career readiness.

You can read the latest report here.

Said Michelle Mapp, CEO of South Carolina Community Loan Fund, “We scream and we yell about spending money for transportation, and I understand nobody wants to sit in traffic. But can we scream and yell about educating our children too? We have not done that as a community.”

Cradle to Career has begun working to promote a “whole child” approach that takes into account the physical and emotional well-being of children, recognizing that children can’t learn if they are hungry, tired, depressed or facing daily trauma in their lives.

Cradle to Career is developing a “cohesive system of support for our under-resourced children from infancy through workforce and career readiness.” Research shows that investments in early childhood development pay the largest dividends, up to seven dollars of future costs averted for every dollar invested up front.

Numerous organizations in business, non-profit, government, education, faith and civic groups are offering their active support of this effort.

Click here for more about South Carolina Community Loan Fund’s partnerships and advocacy efforts.