Our Approach

What People Are Saying About . . .

NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading

“Increasing third-grade reading proficiency is critical to the future success of North Carolina children and sustained economic growth in our state. The strong coalition of partners the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has brought together for the NC Pathways to Grade Level Reading Initiative will help us put into place the policies and programs necessary to achieve this goal. We support the thoughtful and evidence-based approach led by the Foundation to ensure all North Carolina children are prepared to succeed in school and beyond.”

Ann Goodnight, Senior Director, Community Relations


“I know that you all have worked tirelessly over the past year to build collaboration and achieve “consensus” on how we can help every child in NC be a successful student.  I commend your efforts and want to personally thank you for allowing me to grow and learn and become more invested in what I care about most.  This body of work is owned by us all and you have created a culture and environment where will and investment have grown.”

Anita Barker, Director of Education and Engagement
United Way of North Carolina


“It’s my pleasure to be a part of this project!  I truly value all that I have learned from the participants.”

Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies
John Locke Foundation



“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is deeply appreciative of NCECF’s dedicated staff and its commitment to inspiring people across the state to recognize the importance of a high quality, comprehensive, early childhood education. Alongside its national, state, and local partners, NCECF is generating exciting momentum around a more holistic dialogue about the needs of children, birth to eight years old.”

Mo Green, Executive Director
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation


“I just wanted to say again what a true pleasure it’s been to work with you all…I have learned a lot, met more cool people and so enjoyed the process of reflecting and thinking with other amazing people. I wish all such efforts were as expertly and flexibly led throughout the country and know that this work is leading to good things for NC kids.”

Nina Sazer O’Donnell
NSO Associates


What Works for Third Grade Reading Working Papers

“WOW! This is a truly sensational compilation. There may be gaps (or new learnings may arise), but this ‘living’ framework can serve as a standard reference for us all. Many thanks to you and your colleagues for all the work involved in creating the document. I think it also sets the stage for moving into the “active” phase of enhancing policy and improving fiscal investments.”

Tom Vitaglione
NC Child


“The What Works for Third Grade Reading set of twelve working papers provide wonderful guidance in each topic area and also offer connections across the topics. The working papers include details on research- and evidence-based practice and policy and point to other great tools, all with a clear and in-depth discussion for each topic. What an important resource for communities to use as they work toward third grade reading proficiency for all children!”

Jenny Atkinson, Senior Consultant, GLR Support Center
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading


“Knowing what works is a critical step in turning the curve and improving outcomes for young children. We do not yet know everything we need to about the most effective actions to take when dealing with complex issues like reading at grade level, but having ready access to what we do know is essential for folks in the field who are making critical decisions every day, often without the benefit of the research.  Thank you for this major leap forward in making the research accessible.”

Bennett Pudlin
The Charter Oak Group, LLC


NCECF’s Local Financing Toolkit and Training

“This is excellent!  Thanks so much for developing and sharing this helpful resource.”

Cindy Cisneros, Vice President of Education Programs
Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board


“Communities are hungry for better ways to meet the needs of their children. There is a dearth of information on how to grow your resources locally. This toolkit provides such an excellent guide to those who care about North Carolina children. I wish every state had one! In the child and youth field we need to get better at understanding the flow of resources, the tax and budget process, and creative financing mechanisms in order to be more effective.”

Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow
The Forum for Youth Investment


“This is extremely well done.  It lays out the facts in a thorough and easy to understand manner.  Most important, it will leave those interested with a good sense of the significant challenge involved in generating support for public funding of these initiatives. I don’t often see this level of quality work – so you are to be congratulated for the accomplishment.”

Ed Kitchen, Vice President
Joseph M. Bryan Foundation


“The new on-line resource, Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit,  is fabulous!  Very comprehensive. Very easy to use. Really nice job. Kudos!

Louise Stoney
Alliance for Early Childhood Finance
Opportunities Exchange


“The training was valuable because it put together different stakeholders to develop a strategy based in real knowledge of different ways to reach it, from the funding standpoint and making the case.”

Pilar Rocha, Executive Director
El Centro Hispano



“Thank you for this excellent training and follow up resource.”

Bonnie Wright, Senior Fellow
MDC, Inc.


“Today was a great combination of usable, accurate and contextual facts blended with focus on how to enact change with that data. Thanks for keeping us on task and bringing this opportunity to all of us.”

David Jackson, President and CEO
Boone Area Chamber of Commerce


“Well thought out. Clear on the how to’s. Good suggestion for short and long term. It was great to meet others in the state working on this critical issue for our communities and state.”

Susan Schwartz
Co-Chair, Ready for School, Ready for Life
Executive Director, The Cemala Foundation



“The seminar was a good blend of increasing our knowledge and a sense of urgency, and assistance to making it real; – where we live. Successful examples were very helpful.  We are glad you’re there, as we move forward in this critical effort.”

Judy Nebrig
Retired Early Childhood Professional



“Extremely useful overview of options and possibilities. The dynamic of sharing lessons learned, challenges and out of the box ideas with other counties/municipalities was really motivating.”

Maureen Copelof
Brevard City Council Member


“Very pleased I attended.  I learned beyond my expectations and the learning has changed the way I think and plan and hope for change! Thanks so much.  Keep up the good work!”

Terry Decker, Board of Directors
United Way of Transylvania County


“On behalf of our Forsyth County pre-k planning team, I’d like to express our appreciation for the outstanding workshop on financing early learning.  The pre-workshop planning, the faculty and materials were terrific. I am grateful for the follow-up assistance and thoughtful feedback being provided to our team. You are providing much needed connectivity among the local early education expansion efforts in our state.”

Larry Vellani, Executive Director
Smart Start of Forsyth County


“If your community is considering locally expanding early care and education services, the toolkit and workshop supplied by NCECF and the Budget and Tax Center is essential to your planning.  Please take advantage of these wonderful resources. It will move the discussion forward!”

Jennie Eblen, Co-Chair
Asheville Buncombe Preschool Planning Collaborative