Palmetto Literacy Council

Building a stronger community through literacy

Myrtle Beach, SC   |  https://www.palmettoliteracy.org

Mission

Palmetto Literacy Council’s mission is to improve the literacy of youth and adults in our community by teaching/tutoring basic literacy skills for those who struggle with reading, writing, and/or math. We are a volunteer organization dependent on funding from foundations, businesses & private donations. Our volunteers are trained to provide quality instruction using research-based materials with evidence-based strategies to adapt as needed. We strive to improve the literacy rates in our community through positive, strength-based instruction & coaching.

Notes from the nonprofit

We opened our doors 6 months prior to Covid shutting us down for eight weeks. We had 22 students being tutored a the time of the shutdown. Over the summer, 3 student/tutor pairs went online and 3 met using our COVID Procedures. We waited for the end of September, when our state was starting to open up, to start calling all of our students and volunteers to find out where they were as far as the pandemic was impacting their lives. The libraries were not open for tutoring. We are growing...while at the end of 2020 we had only 17 student/tutor pairs. At the one-year anniversary of the shutdown, we had 25 student/tutor pairs. We continue to get requests for tutoring through the libraries, schools, and our website. We project we will have almost 75 student/tutor pairs by the end of 2021. We will need financial support along with volunteers. We are excited and have already had several of our students "graduate" from our program because they have met their goal of reading at grade level.

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director/Chair/Founding Member

Dr. Dodi Hodges

Main address

1229 38th Ave N #130

Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 USA

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EIN

84-1996226

NTEE code info

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Administrative costs to purchase materials for the students. We are growing more quickly than anticipated. In January 2021, we will triple the number of students we have from our numbers in December 2020. Materials for the tutors to use on average cost about $250 for each student. We need to ramp up donations and grants. We are addressing this issue by: 1, We recruited a tenured professor of psychology and an educator who wrote grants for school districts to assist in the writing of grants that our Executive Director continues to search. 2. We have established an events/fundraiser calendar for the year that each of our board of directors and staff will take the lead on and report to our Member-At-Large Events/Fundraiser. 3. We have an Annual Golf Tournament in November, Quarterly Authors' Panels -Free, request donations, and an online auction in the spring.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Free tutoring for adults and school-age children

We provide free tutoring in reading, writing, and math, two hours a week for school-age children and adults who struggle with learning.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Together Sc 2019

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Related Program

Free tutoring for adults and school-age children

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers represent numbers that are based on 3 months after the start-up, then a COVID shutdown/shutter for 6 months. Our numbers have grown. As of May 1, 2021, we have 26 students & 9 Waitlisted

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, People with disabilities

Related Program

Free tutoring for adults and school-age children

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to improve the literacy rates in Horry County, South Carolina for children and adults.

Palmetto Literacy Council:
1. Provides 2 hours/week of free tutoring in basic reading, writing, and/or math.
2. Work with the libraries to provide tutoring in the libraries. We hope to assign a volunteer liaison for each library to improve communications.
3. Send a newsletter to all stakeholders describing our events, upcoming fundraisers, and information about literacy.
4. Partner with several organizations to get the word out about our services. We have contacted all public and private schools, nonprofit agencies, and sent press releases to every radio and tv station in our area. Our other partners are businesses donating time, products, and/or funding to help us achieve our goal and improve their employee base.
5.Offer several events and fundraisers to inform the community about our services and help raise awareness for the need to improve literacy rates to build a stronger community.

1. The passion for improving literacy in our community is palpable among our Board of Directors, Executive Director, staff, and volunteers.
2. Our Executive Director is a retired tenured Special Education Professor (former teacher, administrator, and corporate trainer). Her research and focus throughout her career has been on how to incorporate strategies in the classroom to help students learn or to help teachers make instruction more accessible. She creates the curriculum and designs the instruction F2F and online.
3. We are well connected throughout our county through our Board of Directors and our affiliations.
4. Our Vice Chair of BOD is an English Lecturer at Coastal Carolina University; our Secretary is a retired professor of religion and philosophy, his family has lived in this community for several generations; our Treasurer is a Professional Bookkeeper; our Members-At-Large (3) are Professional Developer for our local school district, a Free-Lance writer, a Sociology Lecturer with a Ph.D. at the local university.
5. Several of our volunteers have taken on leadership roles: LACES Czar-customized and developed our database to track volunteers and students and runs reports for the ED. We have a LACES data input person. A volunteer who recruits students, meeting with various programs to partner with us. We have two volunteers who act as intermediate administrators at two of our eleven libraries, they are our Volunteer Liaisons. We plan to have more Volunteer Liaisons as our number of students in each library region grows. We have a volunteer who edits and writes for our newsletter and she reaches out and hosts our quarterly Authors' Panels. We have a volunteer who is in charge of Giving Tuesday and the Spring Online Auction. A volunteer is our Training Coordinator and presents our Volunteer Orientation and Training at least once each month.
6. We have partnered with a local college and university. We supervise student interns and provide volunteer experiences for their students.
7. We are fiscally responsible and are dedicated to keeping our costs down and our output large!

We opened our doors on August 1, 2019. By December 31, 2019 we will have more than 20 volunteers through orientation and training and more than 10 students matched and getting tutoring services. The year 2020 was rough. We shut down for several weeks 6 months after opening. We are coming back. We are tracking students, volunteers, and donations better than ever.

We need to focus next on:
1. Recruiting more volunteers and students,
2. Raising funds to pay for materials for the students
3. Raising funds to pay our Executive Director/Program Coordinator. The desire here is to establish funding, so that when our ED decides to retire, we can hire an expert to replace her.

We schedule a minimum of one session of Volunteer Orientation and Training each month.
We are applying for several grants. In order to do that effectively, we have recruited a tenured research Psychology Professor and an educator who has written grants for schools to help us find and write grants.
We have established an annual golf tournament that will occur every November, are working on establishing an annual auction, this year it will be online. We also are providing an Authors Panel, while we offer it for free online, we do request donations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Suggestion box/email, Phone calls/texts,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We developed a reading program to use once-a-month to give our Tutors and Students a break from the same type of lessons every week. It's important to maintain fidelity to the program, sometimes everyone just wants to do something for fun. We based our program on the Read Across America program, using their suggested books for each month. Tutors or Students may check out a book from the list that is appropriate for their reading level and then we have provided an activity to build upon the theme of the book.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Palmetto Literacy Council
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Palmetto Literacy Council

Board of directors
as of 5/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Dodi Hodges

Palmetto Literacy Council

Term: 2019 - 2022

Shawna Roessler

Coastal Carolina University

Preston Floyd

Retired

Patricia D'Ascoli

Retired

Maria Denney

Beach Business Solutions

Stephanie Southworth

Coastal Carolina University

Carla Taylor

Horry County Schools

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/28/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/07/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.