Retired Superintendent, Wilkes County Schools
Four years ago, Wilkes County Schools set out with a bold, and some said, unattainable initiative to provide laptops for all students grades 6-12 and Interactive (SMART) Boards in all 632 classrooms. This initiative was complicated by the school system ranking 100/115 in per pupil funding. We knew we would need significant private investment. Our first presentation was to the Mebane Foundation, and soon, Mr. Mebane and the Foundation committed $300,000.00 (later, another $100,000.00 was committed) toward achieving our goal…the first to invest in us. Like so many other fundraising initiatives, it takes someone to start the process along. Mebane Foundation did just that and today we have reached our goal, almost all through privately raised funds. We will forever be indebted to the Mebane Foundation for believing in the children and educators of Wilkes County.
Retired Principal, Cooleemee Elementary School, Davie County Schools
Davie County Schools has been very fortunate to partner with the Mebane Charitable Foundation over the past several years, providing numerous opportunities for the staff and students in our school system. Through this partnership, our students have benefited from a wide range of initiatives, from interactive classrooms in all schools, to access for staff training with researched based programs supporting growth in reading, to the Mebane Masters program focused not only on staff training to optimize the technology rich environment, but to use that same environment to support development of the next generation of teachers as they learn during their student teaching.
Cooleemee Elementary was also the beneficiary of an additional Mebane Charitable Foundation grant that helped to support implementation of Successmaker and Waterford computer based learning programs school wide and a summer reading program. All students were able to benefit from Successmaker and Waterford with site licenses to access in sixty-station and sixteen-station computer labs, respectively, and in all regular classrooms. This grant also helped to provide a summer reading camp, including transportation for the past three years. Data from each of these areas indicates the significant benefits received by students. Another more recent grant provided the opportunity for our students to become involved in Robotics, planting the seed for a now flourishing Robotics program.
The interest and generosity of the Mebane Charitable Foundation in Cooleemee Elementary and our school system had provided opportunities that will continue to impact the lives of our staff and students into the 21st Century.
Executive Director of Elementary Education and Federal Programs
Mooresville Graded School District
Three years ago, the Mooresville Graded School District was looking to enhance our summer literacy program and sought a partnership with the Mebane Foundation to make this vision a reality. Currently, our relationship with the Mebane Foundation has expanded enabling us to partner with The Hill Center. Together with The Hill Center, we are able to provide intensive reading professional development to all K-6 teachers. Over the next three years, we will also be able to provide HillRAP, a Tier 3 intervention to our most at-risk students. In addition, we have expanded our Digital Conversion by providing devices for all students in grades K-12. By providing digital resources paired with building the instructional capacity of our teachers, we look forward to increasing the number of students who are College and Career Ready.
It is evident that none of this would have been possible without the generosity of the Mebane Foundation. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to work with them. The Mebane Charitable Foundation clearly has a heart to meet the needs of “Every Child, Every Day.”
Former Associate Superintendent in Moore County
The opportunity to collaborate with the Mebane Foundation will enhance our ability to design an innovative model of professional development to support the teaching and learning process. The STEM Infusion protocol will enable teachers to work together to plan lessons and design student work based on the new Common Core and Essential Standards. The investment in our teachers will ultimately impact the academic achievement of our students. We are thrilled with our partnership and look forward to observing our students excel.
Director of Advancement, Brookstone Schools
We are deeply grateful for the relationship we have forged with the Mebane Charitable Foundation these past five years. Their investment in our literacy program and training has propelled teachers to a new level of confidence in being able to identify and address the learning needs of even our most at-risk students. Last spring’s IOWA reading outcomes showed that Brookstone students, who are predominately from low-income families, grew 13 months academically in only 7 calendar months. These figures are strong indicators that the educational gaps that exist in at risk children can be closed through intense remediation and adequate support. Our 6th grade class led the way by achieving 2 years of academic growth in the same 7 months. The Mebane Foundation believes in innovation that empowers more and more children to succeed. Their philanthropy and vision has been a ‘game changer’ for Brookstone.
President, Elon Homes and Schools for Children
Most important to us is that Mr. Mebane had the vision and foresight, over two decades ago, to identify the critical need for every student to be reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade. Such a laser focused mission, directed toward all children from every background, coupled with the generosity of Mr. Mebane, is what makes the Mebane Foundation so unique, and so effective.
When we think Mebane Foundation, we think Larry Colbourne. As President, he well embodies the full vision set forth by Mr. Mebane and he successfully executes the guiding principles of the Foundation.
When we first met Larry our charter school was struggling with academic performance. We knew we needed to focus on literacy and math in the earliest grades but did not have sufficient funds to make the comprehensive curricular and faculty changes we wanted to put in place. In our first visit, Larry was very upfront about what he saw at our school and in our low performance. He patiently listened to our plans, asked detailed questions, pondered our choices with us as a colleague, and then soon thereafter we were notified that we would receive funding from the Mebane Foundation. He took a chance on us and we delivered the results. This was the start of now a multi-year relationship between Kennedy Charter and the Mebane Foundation.
We have first- hand experienced the benefit of Mr. Mebane’s vision. Through his generosity and the stewardship of the Board of Directors and President Colbourne we have been able to make purchases of curriculum, textbooks and training for faculty all of which has resulted in marked increase in student academic performance for our youngest students. As the school years pass these students at or above grade level are well equipped to meet the challenges of the next grade.
This support has also enabled us to bridge new partnerships in the community. Our school now is located on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. This collaborative partnership has further led to new relationships for us with other foundations and academic institutions. In ‘getting the ball rolling’ with us, the Mebane Foundation has truly helped transform our entire school. From Larry sitting in on classes several times a year and obviously enjoying his conversations with students and teachers, to the investments from the Mebane Foundation, our primary school students now are better prepared for success in school and in their adult lives ahead.