Through our place-based work, we are partnering with communities that are expanding and aligning services for children prenatal to age eight. Our Special Initiatives team is focused on developing this strategy.
Community indicators concerning child health, learning and poverty suggest social challenges abound in the Carolinas, and that the American Dream remains out of reach for far too many. Just one-third of children born into North Carolina families making less than $25,000 annually rise into middle- and upper-income levels as adults. In South Carolina, poverty rates for Black and Latino children are about three times as high as those for white children.
Place-based grantmaking is a philanthropic concept that pursues lasting social change at the community level by weaving local resources and programs into a cohesive system. This concept is especially appealing for the prenatal to pre‑K population, for whom services are often fragmented — and the opportunity for lifelong impact is the greatest.
The Endowment has supported the Northside Initiative in Spartanburg, S.C., and the Renaissance West Community Initiative in Charlotte, N.C.
In Guilford County, N.C., we are supporting the Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready), a joint effort of the Endowment and Ready for School, Ready for Life, a community-based organization focused on Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. By expanding proven programs, improving service quality and bringing disjointed early childhood resources into a seamless system of care, Ready Ready aims to ensure that critical developmental needs are identified and met. This work represents the Endowment’s largest and boldest foray into place-based grantmaking.