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Riley Institute announces finalists for Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award

Furman University’s Riley Institute has announced three finalists for the 2017 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award.  The annual award presented by the Riley Institute and South Carolina Future Minds celebrates education initiatives improving the lives of students across South Carolina. This year’s finalists are:

Innovate! program at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School (Greenville County), which helps at-risk children beginning the summer before third grade and continuing through high school by providing academic instruction, creative teaching, mentoring, and various enrichment opportunities year-round.

Camp iRock (Pickens County), a partnership of the United Way, YMCA and School District of Pickens County, which is a free summer camp for rising 2nd-4th below grade-level readers with the goal of minimizing summer reading loss, promoting literacy and improving attitudes about learning.

Public Education Partners’ Make Summer Count (Greenville County), which combats summer reading loss by encouraging students and families in 29 high-need public elementary schools to remain engaged in reading through the summer by providing students with free, new, self-selected, high-interest books and hosting school-based Family Reading Nights.

A committee of corporate leaders and education experts selected these finalists from more than 100 entries in the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse – a repository of resources that includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies, and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools.

The award is named for Secretary Riley and his late wife, Ann “Tunky” Riley, a dedicated teacher and passionate advocate for quality public education.

The winner of the award will be announced by former two-term Governor of South Carolina and United States Secretary of Education Dick Riley at a celebration luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 12:30 p.m., at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The award is named for Secretary Riley and his late wife, Ann “Tunky” Riley, a dedicated teacher and passionate advocate for quality public education.

“The finalists this year show that there are dedicated teachers in our public school system working every day, even after school and through the summer break, to improve the lives of students in South Carolina,” said Secretary Riley. “I am thrilled to honor and celebrate the effectiveness of these passionate educators and their programs with the WhatWorksSC Award.”

The celebration luncheon is open to the public, and individual registration is $25.  For more information, visit Or contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

Last updated September 12, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director