What if a world existed where all kids had the resources they needed to achieve their full potential; where teachers were empowered to make amazing things happen; and where the community joined forces to support all families, kids and schools? What kind of creativity and potential could be unleashed?
At Public Education Partners, we’re here to find out.
Located in Greenville, SC, PEP is a local education fund that recognizes the tremendous value in public education, but also realize its limits. With a shortage of adequate resources and committed teachers, schools don’t have all the tools they need to reach every student. They need support – someone to help them fill in the gaps. And that’s exactly what we aim to do.
We start with the most basic and essential building block of education: literacy. When kids learn to read, a whole new world of possibilities opens to them. But many kids are constrained by opportunity gaps that limit their ability to read.
To fill these gaps, PEP has created initiatives that supply free books and learning resources for students at high-poverty schools, provide opportunities for parents to learn new skills and give families and communities the tools they need to enrich children’s literacy.
Even with abundant resources, no school can flourish without quality teachers. In fact, research shows that a great teacher is the most important in-school factor affecting student achievement. Unfortunately, much like students, many teachers are limited by lack of outside support and inadequate resources.
At PEP, we invest in initiatives that directly address this need. We sponsor orientation and networking events for first year teachers to give them the critical support they need to get off to a great start. We fund innovative practices and grants that allow teachers to employ cutting-edge, evidence-based practices in their classrooms. We also partnered with Greenville County Schools to implement the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education (GATE) program to address the critical needs areas of secondary math and science teachers. We coach teachers at high-need middle schools to integrate literacy practices and improve their practice. Our investment in teachers makes incredible things possible.
In order to accomplish anything of lasting value, we need to impact more than individual schools – we need to reach the heart of the system. That’s why PEP works across and with the various sectors of our community, collaborating to identify and collectively address our community’s biggest issues that affect our youth. That’s also why PEP is a devoted advocate for public education at the state, federal and local levels. By establishing positions on key public education issues, keeping the public informed and coordinating public policy efforts with local organizations, we help impact the passage of legislation and policies that directly benefit Greenville County’s children, teachers and schools.
Local Education Funds
Local Education Funds (LEFs) were first formed in the 1980s to mobilize public support for public schools. With their own staff and board of directors, LEFs operate independently from school districts but work closely with local schools.
As Greenville County’s LEF, PEP partners with local schools, educators, and community leaders to strengthen our educational system. We listen and learn from our best teachers, include top district administrators as ex-officio members of our Board of Directors and try to be as responsive as possible to principals, administrators and teachers who are taking an innovative approach to teaching and learning.
Using research, best practices and close partnership with our schools and community, PEP seeds innovative solutions to systemic opportunities and serves as the community education advocate and knowledge base for excellent public schools.