The Edgecombe Charitable Foundation has awarded $37,500 in grants to organizations supporting the local community.
This year, ECF decided to focus a portion of its grantmaking on a key area of need in the community. As a result, more than half the funding is dedicated to organizations addressing literacy education.
The ECF board of advisors granted:
In its focus on literacy, the board cited its annual community needs assessment, which found that only 13% of Edgecombe County students in grades 3 to 8 achieved a college-and-career-ready reading score. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced K-12 enrollment by nearly 5 percent in the past few years and postsecondary enrollment by 12 percent between 2020 and 2021.
Pamela Gould, executive director of grant recipient STEP, said there are educational challenges in Edgecombe and Nash counties, but progress is being made.
“When we started this work, our stakeholders couldn't really talk about workforce development until we addressed literacy,” said Gould. “It's a slow and steady process.”
STEP is one of 15 local educational attainment collaboratives through myFutureNC, a statewide effort to ensure that 2 million North Carolinians have a high-quality credential or a postsecondary degree by 2030.
ECF grants also went to other local organizations:
Funds for the grants came from ECF’s community grantmaking fund and the Mary Ferebee Howard Endowment fund.
“We’re always happy to support our local service organizations,” said Michael Peters, advisory board president of the Edgecombe Charitable Foundation. “But we’re particularly pleased this year to offer impact grants, which will tackle the critical issue of literacy.”
ECF is an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation and is led by a local volunteer advisory board. Each year, ECF uses dollars from its endowment funds to make grants to nonprofits that help the local community.
Learn more about ECF and its work in the community or make a tax-deductible donation at nccommunityfoundation.org/edgecombe. For further information about ECF, contact the Central Community Leadership Officer.
Edgecombe Community Foundation Advisory Board Members
Advisory board members live and work in Edgecombe County, positioning them to strategically leverage resources, meet local needs and access opportunities. In addition to Peters, board members include Joy Chafin (vice president), Alex Urquhart (secretary), Mary Jane Jenkins (grants chair), Thomas Anderson, Natalie Bess, Alison Blodgett, JoSeth Bocook, Jerome Creech, Will Leland, Jim C. Marrow, Mears Pitt, Dave Sharpe, Jane Thorne and Ryan Thorne.
Hannah Hogewood, Marketing & Communications Manager