SC Future Minds — Private Support for Public Schools
South Carolina Future Minds is a 501(c)3 non-profit that organizes private support for the state's 700,000 public school students.
Public universities and private schools often have dozens of people working to connect private support to their institutions. South Carolina Future Minds is the only entity working to connect private donors to all public K-12 public schools across the state.
Organize Collaborative Efforts for SC Public Education
- Statewide Innovation Efforts – The State Board of Education has asked South Carolina Future Minds and the Education Oversight Committee to bring together public and private sector leaders, such as representatives from the state Chamber of Commerce, The Riley Institute at Furman, colleges, universities and leading education groups to help promote and bring innovation to our public schools.
- Annual Conference of South Carolina Public Education Partners — We bring state and local education groups together to talk about common challenges and best practices. The 2011 conference was capped by the announcement of the first annual "Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award.". Drivien by The Riley Institute at Furman and South Carolina Future Minds, this award for proven effective programs is supported by BB&T, the state Board of Education, state Chamber of Commerce, SC School Administrators Association, SC School Boards Association and other corporate partners.
Celebrate Great Teachers
- Nationally Recognized SC Teacher of the Year Celebration – This annual event is the largest gathering of state leaders in business, government and education in support of our state's teachers. It also features the winner of the only statewide talent contest open to K-12 public school students.
- Teacher Appreciation Month – Thousands of people annually reach out to thank a teacher, and one lucky educator wins a Bahamas cruise from corporate partner Bojangles'.
Make It Easy to Support SC Public Schools
- "Spaghetti Night" - Mueller's Pasta works through South Carolina Future Minds to offer every public school in our state free pasta for a "Spaghetti Night" of parents, students and teachers. As of December 2011, more than 160 schools had received nearly eight tons of pasta.
- "Go Back to School SMART" – Our Facebook campaign in 2011 partnered with SMART Technologies to give away thousands of dollars of equipment to three winning SC public schools.
- Online School Donations – We've rolled out a "button" which now allows any SC public school to accept tax-deductible contributions online. Click here to get the button for your school!
Anyone can go to the www.scfutureminds.org website right now and donate to any SC public school. We also give free to any public school a button that can be put on a school website to increase donations. The button directs visitors to the SC Future Minds website, where tax-deductible contributions can be made for any public school. With both these options, SC Future Minds deducts six percent from each donation to cover credit card and other transaction costs. This can be used alone, or with existing fundraising campaigns.
- Alumni Donations – We work to help public high schools connect with their alumni and turn reunions into opportunities for continuing financial support.
Enable Public School Efforts to Accept Tax-Deductible Contributions
We've created funds under our 501(c)3 that hold dollars for worthy public school initiatives, including
CERRA – The Center for Educator, Recruitment, Retention and Advancement
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement—South Carolina (CERRA), the oldest and most established teacher recruitment program in the country, provides a continuum of programs and services to support a broad spectrum of education recruitment and retention initiatives. CERRA partners statewide with teacher education institutions and other organizations to support prospective teachers in middle school, high school and college as well as practicing teachers throughout their careers. For more information on CERRA’s services–ProTeam, Teacher Cadet, Future Educators Association, South Carolina Teaching Fellows, the SC Online Employment and Certification Application and Job Bank Systems, and the SC Teacher Expo, Teacher Leadership and Teacher Forum, Mentoring and Induction, and research—please visit www.cerra.org and www.teachercadets.com.
Inside-Out Center for Learning
SC Future Minds acts as holding fund for these innovative educational models. The multi-dimensional project seeks to create new education centers with the following objectives:
- Personalized and flexible learning methods and opportunities
- Community integration, both within and outside the school
- Student advancement based on skill mastery
- Longterm commitment to success by staff and leadership
Currently two projects exist in South Carolina:
SC Future Minds acts as a holding fund for South Carolina S.T.A.R. Academies. S.T.A.R. (Students That Are Ready)is an early intervention program designed to enrich and enhance the academic performance of economically and academically disadvantaged and/or at-risk middle/high school aged children. S.T.A.R. Academy serves as a comprehensive school-university-business-parent partnership initiative with strong community involvement.