Superintendent encourages Project Impact stakeholders

Superintendent encourages  Project Impact stakeholders
April 27
09:28 2018

Last week, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Beverly Emory provided a two-year update on Project Impact, an initiative launched in 2016 to close the achievement gap and provide funding for additional early childhood classrooms across the district.

In Year One, Project Impact stakeholders, comprised of various corporate foundations, partners and individuals raised more than $25 million toward their goal of $45 million over the period of six years. Pathway to K, a summer program designed to improve children’s academic, social and emotional readiness for kindergarten, was also launched in the first year of the initiative.

While addressing stakeholders on Thursday, April 19, Emory said, “Your commitment and your belief in us is really the fuel behind this.

“… There’s really no way for me to quantify for you what it feels like to Pre-K teachers or principals at schools that get new Pre-K classrooms. … This is belief. This is investment in their ability to make a difference and that also is having an impact that is hard to measure.”

During her 15-minute presentation, Emory highlighted several areas where the district has made progress and areas where they have fallen short. She noted, while nearly 51 percent of all high schools met their “gap closing” goal, third-grade reading scores continue to be an issue.

According to the State of the District report during the 2016-2017 school year, only 52.8 percent of all third-graders were reading at grade level.

“Where we are struggling still is at third grade reading. It has been a difficult place to move. So I hope that as you progress in the programs you’ve invested in, you’ll see while it may take some time, if we can eradicate a gap to begin with, if we can start more ready, we have to believe that this is the strategy that will get us there.” Emory said.

With that being said, in Year Two, Project Impact will look to build on the foundation that was laid in Year One. At the start of the 2017-2018 school year, Project Impact expanded Pre-K access by adding classrooms at Bolton, Middle Fork, Rural Hall, Smith Farm, Gibson and Union Cross Elementary Schools. This summer the initiative will look to expand Pathway to K to at least 200 children and implement Pathway to 1, which will be aimed at helping rising first graders. In the first year, Pathway to 1 will serve a minimum of 180 students at six sites in the district.

For more information on Project Impact, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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