I believe that all children can achieve. I have seen this personally at schools across our region. But we, at The Belk Foundation, know improvements must be made to ensure all students have a high-quality education.
Research has proven that children who are performing on grade level by 3rd grade and who are championed by excellent teachers and leaders are better positioned for success. That's why, in 2013, we narrowed our focus to two key priorities: K-3 achievement and excellent teachers and leaders in public schools.
The Belk Foundation partners, advocates and invests with organizations making the greatest impact. We fund critical projects like programs to train new teachers and summer learning opportunities for low-income students. Knowing that working together, we are greater than the sum of our parts, we strive to build coalitions of partners in our communities to address complex education challenges. (Our most recent example is Read Charlotte, a collective impact effort focused on doubling the number of 3rd graders reading proficiently).
I’m proud of the legacy that my grandfather, William Henry Belk, and his brother, Dr. John M. Belk, created for our communities. They believed in investing in what they called the “up-building of mankind.” Since our founding in 1928, three generations of my family have served on the Belk Foundation Board, and in 2015, we welcomed our first member of the fourth generation.
As a family foundation, we are deeply committed to our mission. Yet we don't have all the answers. We're always learning, always growing, and always open to new ideas. We hope you will join us in our work to create lasting change for students in our communities.