American Reading Company's 100 Book Challenge at Clinton Elementary School Named Finalist for First Annual Dick and Tunkey Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence

Three finalists have been selected for the first annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSCSM Award for Excellence. The winner will be announced at the South Carolina Archives and History Center in Columbia on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

The award will be presented as the capstone event for the annual South Carolina Public Education Partners meeting, and will be followed by a reception that is free and open to the public. The event is made possible by BB&T, SCASA and Colonial Life, Childs & Halligan, P.A., and SCETV.

The award is named for former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and his late wife, Tunky.

The award recognizes an outstanding education initiative in South Carolina, and is presented by Furman’s Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics, and Public Leadership and South Carolina Future Minds, in conjunction with the South Carolina Board of Education and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. A $10,000 cash prize, sponsored by BB&T, will be awarded for enhancement of the winning program. The finalists are:

  • American Reading Company’s 100 Book Challenge, Clinton Elementary School, Lancaster

  • Reading Recovery Training Center, Clemson University

  • South Carolina Teaching Fellows, administered by Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA)

Candidates were selected from initiatives now in the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSCSM clearinghouse, a web-based resource for educators, students, the community and policy makers. To be considered for the award, evidence demonstrating the program’s effectiveness must be shown. The finalists were selected from a group of 10 semi-finalists including:

  • Bridges to a Brighter Future, Furman University

  • Clemson-Barnwell First Steps Partnership

  • FDR-Time (Focus to Develop Reading), Sue Cleveland Elementary School, Greenville County

  • Horry County Early College High School

  • Language!, West Ashley High School, Charleston County

  • Project Lead the Way, Anderson Districts 1 and 2 Career and Technology Center

  • South Carolina TAP (Teacher Advancement Program), SC State Department of Education

For more information about the award or to submit information about an education initiative that is working in South Carolina, contact Courtenay Williams at the Riley Institute, 864-294-3541 or visit


WhatWorksSCSM ties key strategies for world-class schools in South Carolina to promising in-state initiatives, and includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify approaches for improving South Carolina’s public schools. WWSCSM is continually seeking information about exemplary education initiatives and welcomes ongoing nominations for upcoming awards.

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