The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently honored Greenville as one of five communities nationally for unwavering commitment to promoting health and well-being. The winners have shown tremendous initiative in rallying local residents and leaders around areas that impact health, from infrastructure and education to cultural competency and economic vitality.
Children’s Trust board member Edward Anderson, the Tanglewood Middle School principal, was prominently featured in this RWJF publication for his innovative work with children and families in the Greenville County Schools.
As the story details, Anderson is part of a district-wide initiative called OnTrack Greenville, which is working to eliminate barriers in schools in order to increase the odds of students graduating on time. Launched in 2015 by the school district and United Way, the initiative reflects an awareness in the community of the importance of education to the long-term health of children by taking a multitiered approach to improving educational outcomes.
Schools employ a data-based early warning and response system that attempts to identify students who are beginning to disengage. Faculty and staff are trained to deal with students facing trauma such as homelessness, divorce, abuse, neglect or hunger, and counselors work to bring support to families.
“The school district really sees what needs to happen,” Anderson says in the story, “to make sure that our kids are prepared for what’s next.”