Collaborative Action Manager Joins NC Early Childhood Foundation

Mary Mathew has joined the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) as the new Collaborative Action Manager. In this role, Mathew will support the implementation and collective efforts of the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading and Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Initiatives. 

For the past eight years, Mary served as Director of Program Planning and Partner Engagement at the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI), an innovative, place-based nonprofit working to build a pipeline of opportunities for children and families living in East Durham. Her role included developing partnerships with multi-sector organizations and community members working towards the shared goal of college and career readiness for youth, starting from birth. Together, their efforts improved access to child care and home-visiting services for families and academic outcomes among students. 

Prior to EDCI, Mathew’s diverse experiences include empowering children with different abilities through her work as a school-based Occupational Therapist, evaluating a psychosocial curriculum used with orphans in Malawi, and advocating for youth tobacco use prevention and policy change across North Carolina. She holds two Bachelor degrees from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a MSPH in Maternal and Child Health from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

“We are so excited to have Mary join our dynamic team,” said Mandy Ableidinger, NCECF Policy and Practice Leader. “She is a strategic thinker who values collaborative work, addressing systemic barriers and amplifying parent voices. Her experience and approach make her a great fit for this new role.”

The Pathways Initiative focuses on aligning policies and advancing coordinated strategies that are proven to make progress on shared birth‐to‐eight measures of success. It is driven by collaborative action and is based on the recognition that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any one organization can produce on its own. Pathways is an initiative of the NC Early Childhood Foundation in collaboration with NC Child, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and BEST NC.

Since 2015, NCECF has led the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The Campaign is mobilizing communities to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, and government agencies. Across the country there are more than 360 communities, including 3,900 local organizations and 450+ state and local funders who have joined the effort. In North Carolina there are 14 rural and urban communities participating in the Campaign. 

NCECF has a bold vision that each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for lifelong success and reading proficiency, supported by the nation’s best birth-to-eight system. To achieve that vision, NCECF builds public will, promotes practice and policy solutions and is a catalyst for aligned action.  Learn more at