B.H. Tharrington Primary School is one of 20 schools from across North Carolina chosen to participate in the TrueSchool Innovation Fellowship project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“The project … is an intensive, collaborative effort aimed at improving literacy among students pre-kindergarten to third grade,” officials with TrueSchool said.
Being part of the project provides an opportunity to “innovate and improve the academic environment,” said Eve Trotter, a literacy specialist at Tharrington. “We will use this to initiate sustainable change in the way that teachers and leaders in our district think about and approach early literacy instruction.”
The TrueSchool Innovation Fellowship provides a $15,000 scholarship per school to cover the full cost of year-long programmatic and coaching support. Twenty schools from this state and 20 others from Nebraska were chosen.
Selected schools will each create teams made up of three to six members, including the principal and at least two teachers.
“These teams, with the assistance of TrueSchool’s specialized program and experienced coaches, will “lead a school-wide innovation effort with a focus on equity, academic achievement, social-emotional support, and 21st-century learning,” said TrueSchool CEO Amy Vreeland.
“Educators working on the ground know their school, student and community needs best. We provide the time, process and support to enable their leadership potential to flourish and their bold ideas to come to life,” she said.
The chosen participants in North Carolina represent a mixture of suburban, urban and rural school districts. Of the 10,408 students attending these academic institutions, 5,454 are minority students, while 4,954 are white. A majority of students at all but four of the chosen schools receive free or reduced lunch.
In addition to Tharrington, the selected schools, all elementary schools, include: Trent Park, Havelock, A.H. Bangert and J.T. Barber in Craven County School District; Coker-Wimberly in Edgecombe County Public Schools; Bessemer City Central and Hawks Nest STEAM Academy in Gaston County Schools; Micro, East Clayton, West Smithfield, Benson and Four Oaks in Johnston County Public Schools; Winter Park, College Park, Pine Valley and Murrayville in New Hanover County Schools; E.D. Koontz and Overton in Rowan Salisbury School System; and Walnut Creek in the Wake County Public School System.