The Belk Foundation

Message from the Chair

 

 

 


Dear Friends of The Belk Foundation,

Exactly a year ago, we narrowed our focus to strengthening Teachers and Leaders and improving K-3 Core Achievement. As a result, we not only have made more informed decisions about our investments, but we also have pushed ourselves to become advocates for our mission – and for that of our stakeholders – in new and exciting ways.

For us, being a funder and an advocate means bringing together education influencers to make positive change. This spring, we invited community leaders in Charlotte to design a collective impact effort to better support our children to reach the goal of 3rd grade reading proficiency. Interest is growing in working together to increase the literacy skills of children by age 8. In February, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey joined us at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school to learn about building career ladders for teachers. These are two examples of the kind of engagement we hope to continue in support of our mission.

With all of the movement in K-12 education, we recognized that it is critical for us to remain true to our core standards. Our Board recently adopted Operating Principles that set forth the way that we want to interact with our community and hold ourselves accountable to being good stewards. We never want to take the legacy of the Belk Foundation philanthropy for granted and feel deeply responsible to our grantee partners for “walking the walk” of best practices.

Systemic change takes both time and a host of dedicated partners. We are grateful for the community volunteers serving on our Grants and Investment committees as well as the many education experts within and beyond our regional focus of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. We are proud of our grantees; your exemplary dedication and steadfastness inspire us daily. We encourage you to read about our FY14 grantees in our 2013-14 Annual Letter to Friends.

The Belk Foundation is committed to taking this work to the next level and we hope you will be there alongside us.

Katie B. Morris
Board Chair
 

 

 

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