(Rocky Mount, NC)-The Down East Partnership for Children (DEPC) announced today that they will be the recipient of North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation’s $25,000 “Ribbon of Hope” to continue the Partnership’s ongoing Ready Schools and Ready Communities programs supporting family and community engagement in elementary schools in Edgecombe and Nash Counties.

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation chose the DEPC as a grantee, because of the Partnership’s ongoing work that addresses critical needs in Nash and Edgecombe Counties. “The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is helping us strengthen the systems that support our young children by bringing together schools, communities and families to support the shared mission of launching every child in our two counties as healthy, lifelong learners by the end of third grade,” said Henrietta Zalkind, Executive Director of the DEPC.

DEPC’s Ready Schools and Ready Communities Initiatives are working in the two counties to build relationships between schools, communities and families to increase opportunities for engagement and learning, ultimately improving student achievement. To date, 17 of the 19 area elementary schools have participated in Ready Schools, helping to support significant improvements in key areas including school leadership, family involvement, transitions to kindergarten and engaging environments.

Ready Schools works hand in hand with Ready Communities to bring together schools, families and community members serving as a School Community Team to address specific school and community needs and work collaboratively to create innovative way to more actively engage families in the educational success of their child.

About the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an independent self-funding 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting activities that help meet the educational and health needs of today’s society and future generations. Since its creation in 1986, the foundation has granted $65.9 million to support North Carolina projects and programs that emphasize the understanding and application of health, science and education at all academic and professional levels. Visit us at NCGSKFoundation.org and follow us @ncgskfound.

About the Down East Partnership for Children

Founded as a non-profit in 1993, DEPC is committed to successfully launching every child as a healthy, lifelong learner by the end of the 3rd grade. To accomplish these efforts, the DEPC has developed a model of services for children 0-8 that promotes and creates a continuum of services that meets the diverse needs of all children and families in our community to have the supports they need to learn and grow. For more information about DEPC visit us at www.DEPC.org.