Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Charleston Promise Neighborhood (CPN) provides and facilitates comprehensive programs and services that support children strengthen families, and mobilize residents to action. CPN has long-delivered high-quality services to students, families, schools, and residents, in an under-resourced corridor in Charleston County. Believing that “it takes a village” to raise a child to flourish and succeed, CPN provides programming to ensure that each child, in each school, in our community is healthy, safe, engaged, and supported.

Programs include:
– Expanded Learning Time (ELT)—afterschool & summer academic and enrichment programs for ~70 students/day (~200 pre-COVID).  We anticipate that post-Covid 19, we will be at full capacity serving ~200 students after school, and up to ~300 in the summer;– School-Day Supports—CPN-funded resources providing teacher professional development, student field experiences, and other needed supports in our under-resourced schools;– KidsWell Health & Wellness Centers—school-based clinics designed to improve student’s access to quality healthcare which includes wellness checks, chronic disease management, telehealth, and telemental health;– Parent & Community Engagement—programs and events designed to empower and engage residents and families beyond the school day; and– Mary Ford Early Childhood and Family Engagement Center—an expanded collaboration with CCSD to launch a high-quality, early learning center and to provide support services for families which will include parenting classes, adult education, health and wellness programs, etc.

Counties Served


Annual Cost


Partner Organizations

  • Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
  • Charleston County School District (CCSD)
  • City of Charleston
  • City of No. Charleston
  • Charleston County
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Roper Hospital
  • Fetter Healthcare Network
  • Select Health
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Trident Technical College
  • the College of Charleston
  • Charleston Southern University
  • The South Carolina Aquarium
  • the Charleston Museum
  • the International African American Museum (IAAM)
  • The Boeing Company
  • Bosch
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • the Center for Heirs Property
  • OriginSC
  • The Sustainability Institute
  • Palmetto Community Action Partnership (PCAP)
  • the YWCA of Greater Charleston
  • MUSC Presidential Scholars
  • the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC)
  • Dominion Energy

Funding Sources


Founding Partners (Charleston County, Cities of Charleston & No. Charleston, Charleston County School District): $196,150Corporations: $285,400Foundations: $147,000Government Grants: $576,601


Corporations: $5,000


Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Afterschool and Summer programming:

To date, 1952 students have been served in CPN’s afterschool program demonstrating: average Daily Attendance (ADA) of 1,727; 500,830 individual hours of academics and extra-curricular enrichment; and 250,145 meals served. To date, 800 students have attended CPN summer school demonstrating: ADA of 710; 600 hours of academics and extra-curricular enrichment; and 8,520 meals served. Annually, approximately 15 CPN-funded certified teachers provide additional academic supports such as reviewing class-day lessons and/or providing homework assistance.  Additionally, this extra income to our teachers is of great importance to them and their families. 15-20 CPN-provided enrichment partners have engaged annually (including Lowcountry Maritime Society full-size boat building, African Drum and Dance which teaches traditional African drumming rhythms along with movements, Sweetgrass Baskets teaches the art and history of sweetgrass basket making here in the Lowcountry and Soccer Shots which teaches both basic and advanced soccer playing).

Impact:  Parents have a safe place for their children to be after school and in the summer.  Participating students receive individualized learning plans because CPN ELT teachers coordinate with school day instructors. Students and families develop stronger bonds with teachers and the schools due to increased interactions establishing critical mutual trust.  Moreover, evaluation by the College of Charleston showed that students attending these programs demonstrate better attendance and fewer behavioral incidences than those not attending.  In addition, another evaluation by the College of Charleston shows that participating students advance in their 21st Century Learning Skills (creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking), leading directly to improved early language, literacy, and numeracy skills.  Relative to Summer Programs, pre-and-post-program testing using Fountas & Pinell demonstrates that over 90% of regular attendees either maintain or gain in their literacy levels – reducing “summer slide”.

School Day Supports:

To date, 1500 School Uniforms were purchased and distributed, 13,020 hours of one-on-one student behavioral supports for students were coordinated, 920 books for students were sent home to their “personal library,” and 224 hours of professional development were provided for 57 staff members along with 320 professional development books. Partners include Communities in Schools, ROOTS, additional school staff … all funded by CPN

Impact: School uniforms build camaraderie between the students and relieve parents’ financial pressure.  Behavioral supports reveal that students demonstrate increased social-emotional skills such as self-regulation and communication, which results in significantly fewer behavioral incidences, and increases academic achievement.  A home library promotes a “love of reading”.  During the school year, students receive a book from the principal on their birthday, which makes the book “special”.  Additionally, teacher professional development has included curriculum development, classroom management skills, and trauma-informed education.  Teachers are the most effective professional in the academic development of the student; therefore, each of these critical elements prepares the teacher to better deliver the academic and life lessons students need to absorb in ways that are most impactful and long-lasting.

KidsWell Health & Wellness Centers (in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC):

To date, 11,000+ students have been offered access to healthcare (based on annual school enrollment since 2011) with an average of 45% of students enrolling in KidsWell. In SY2013/2014, Dr. William Randazzo, an MUSC pediatrician, piloted healthcare services at Chicora Elementary School. In SY2015/2016, telehealth services were operational in all four CPN schools. MUSC now offers school-based telehealth services in 30+ schools across Charleston County and 100+ school sites across the state. In addition to telehealth, KidsWell has provided the following (health and wellness-specific) services/programs and outcomes since CPN’s inception: a health literacy program using an evidence-based book entitled “What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick” was presented to and in turn, helped train over 500 adults; over 6,500 health screenings were completed since 2011 with the support of CPN including volunteers from the community, nursing students, interns, and staff; an “Open Airways” program in partnership with the American Lung Association to 24 students; 1,000 food boxes have been distributed; and 1,800 volunteers have been involved in this work to date.

Impact:  CPN’s KidsWell School-based Health Clinics have increased access to healthcare for students in our schools.  In addition to basic pediatric primary care services, students have access to expedited specialty care, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, asthma education, and nutritional counseling.  CPN’s KidsWell program served as a “testing ground” or “incubator” for MUSC.  Through our partnership, MUSC was able to test and expand telehealth among the CPN schools and worked with CPN and to develop a working model for enrollment, scheduling, data collection, and other protocols. Because of these efforts, MUSC continues to extend school-based telehealth across the state and to share their model across the country, as one of two Centers of Excellence for telehealth in the United States. KidsWell fosters strong partnerships engaging multiple departments within MUSC and working with local colleges to provide internship/on-the-job experiences for students.  CPN collaborated with organizations including Roper Hospital, MUSC, and Trident United Way connecting them to our Neighborhood residents for the development of the Community Health Needs Assessments in 2013, 2016, and 2019.  Studied cited in 2018 by the American Public Health Association attribute a healthier school culture with the presence of a school-based health program.  Mary Ford Elementary was recognized and awarded the MUSC/Boeing Wellness Healthy School Award in 2017 and 2019.  Student access records are maintained at the clinic and at MUSC, and evaluative data is shared with CPN.

Parent & Community Engagement:

On December 30, 2010, CPN hosted its first Community Engagement Council (CEC) meeting engaging 10 residents.  Since then, over 50 Neighborhood residents have served on the CEC, in addition to representatives from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, parents, community activists, and currently led by two CPN Board Members, both African American, Clara Fuqua and David White, Jr.

On March 21, 2019, CPN launched the first of a 3-part forum series focusing on the rapid gentrification of our Neighborhood entitled, “The Miseducation of Gentrification”, at which ~400 resident voices were heard; Youth Promise served 112 students and as a result, they gained knowledge, garnered personal and professional development skills, and were exposed to life field experiences.  Further, the program fostered and cultivated young leaders; and promoted social activism among youth and their peers; and today the CEC continues to focus on, 1) engaging residents in our work; 2) further developing residents to advocate for their neighborhoods and communities, and 3) strengthening the connections and communication between parents, schools, and community.

Since 2013, CPN has implemented 30 Family Engagement Nights (including Family Science Nights with Boeing and Mercedes-Benz Vans, Family Literacy Night with ReadingPartners, Family Health & Wellness Night, the CPN Social Studies Bowl, Aquarium Nights, etc.) engaging over 1500 residents annually. Since 2014 CPN has coordinated over 40 student field experiences (including Camp Blackbaud, Boeing DreamLearner Tours, Bosch site visits, and other student field trips) engaging over 500 students, and exposing them to program design, project management, core skills development, career development, teamwork, and character building.  These field experiences give our students the opportunity to use academics, technology, social skills, and computer programming to create something unique, and is a rich and rewarding educational experience. Specifically, since 2013, CPN has partnered with Blackbaud to connect highly skilled technologists (counselors) with ~175 students, who work in teams to build robots or create smartphone apps.  At the end of the 2-day camp, students make group presentations to leaders across Blackbaud’s world headquarters revealing their robots and/or phone apps building confidence and public speaking skills; and through CPN’s partnership with Bosch, scholars, and teachers share the opportunity to participate in eco-STEM-focused field experiences conducted by the Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission. Through a grant from Dominion Energy, CPN partnered with the International African American Museum to register 1700+ CPN students, families, and other Neighborhood residents for an IAAM Charter Memberships.

Additional engagement initiatives have included: Teens Talk It Up, launched 2017-18 in partnership with the Charleston Jewish Federation provided and facilitated discussions with ten participants from CPN middle schools and the Charleston Jewish Federation on subjects relevant to social justice and cultural awareness. Through creative and constructive dialogue, students collaborated to present their viewpoints through artistic expression; Mind-Body Basketball (2016) featured dialogue and discussion about healthcare and provided information about mental and behavioral health included health screenings, and an exercise- basketball clinic with ~30 participants; Coding programs in partnership with the YWCA (2016-present): designed to lower the technology gender barrier for girls; participants join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models as they explore ways to use computer science to solve a problem in their school or community; 120 participants; and from 2017 to the present, Rosemont Neighborhood Association and CPN corporate partner, BoomTown! where 128 students to date learn coding skills for a career in technology.

Impact:  Incorporated in 2010, Charleston Promise Neighborhood (CPN) was founded by Charleston County, the cities of Charleston and North Charleston, and the Charleston County School District (CCSD).  Our mission is to provide and facilitate comprehensive programs and services that support children, strengthen families, and mobilize residents to action. Built on key success factors of the Harlem Children’s Zone, it was created to ensure that every child and family has the supports needed to thrive.  Our intent is to transform a 5.6 square mile area in Charleston County known as the “Neck”, which has been lagging in economic, educational, and social indicators for decades.  Through our evidence-based programming, we know that we have impacted our students, families, and residents and that we will realize our goal of “transformation in a generation”.


CPN is well-positioned to deliver quality programs as its leaders have extensive nonprofit, operational, and programmatic experience, and are active participants in committees, on panels, as board members, and as eager students in their journeys of continuing education. In addition to highly skilled staff, and a committed and engaged Board of Directors who contribute over $75k annually, CPN has garnered the confidence and financial investments from generous individuals, corporations, foundations, and government donors.  We have been awarded multi-year grants from the South Carolina Department of Education, the Dept. of Defense, Trident United Way, multi-year donations from MUSC, Dominion Energy, and others, and approximately ten 10) donors who have contributed annually for approximately eight (8) years with gifts ranging from $10,000 – $100,000. Additionally, as we mark our 11th year, CPN continues to secure annual funding from our four (4) Founding Partners (the City of Charleston, City of North Charleston, Charleston County, and the Charleston County School District).Each year for the first three years, CPN doubled its revenue.  Since then, CPN has secured over $11M in revenue from major donors. CPN continues to receive “Unqualified Audit Opinions” annually, i.e. our financial statements are free of material error and may be relied upon. Annually, ~78% of CPN’s funding is reinvested back into programming, and 100% of CPN Board Members make financial contributions to the organization. CPN Board of Directors is comprised of local philanthropists, Founding Partner representatives, community issue experts, residents, and other community stakeholders, and CPN employs a full-time Director of Philanthropy & Marketing, skilled in “the hunt” and “the close”. She is assisted by a Development Committee comprised of four volunteers including three Board members, CPN’s CEO, and its Marketing & Development Manager.  The identification of prospects is robust and well-vetted.  New funders since her start in January 2018 include AMC Theatres, Bank of America, Dominion Energy, Elhapa Foundation, First National Bank, Good Coin Foundation, LANXESS Corporation, Woodfield Development, and others.

Grades Served

  • Early Childhood (Pre-K – 2)
  • Elementary (3-5)
  • Middle School (6-8)

Related Subjects

  • Career Education
  • English Language Arts
  • Health Education
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Contact Information 

Karen Quadrio,