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Heart Math tutoring Receives School Sponsorship-Level Grants from The Belk Foundtion and Faison Enterprises

January 30, 2017

Heart Math Tutoring (Heart) – a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students in high-poverty elementary schools develop math skills and academic confidence – wrapped up 2016 with school sponsorship-level grants from The Belk Foundation and Faison Enterprises.

The Belk Foundation has made a two-year commitment of $40,000 per year, and Faison Enterprises has awarded $30,000 to Heart. The grants are at the “school sponsorship” level, each providing tutoring from September to May to over 50 students who are performing below grade level in elementary math. This is the fourth year of Heart’s partnership with The Belk Foundation and the first grant award from Faison Enterprises. Funding supports an on-site coordinator, tutoring supplies, volunteer recruitment, assessments and data analysis.

“We are very grateful to The Belk Foundation and Faison Enterprises for believing in Heart’s program. We could not recruit and support tutors and students without this funding,” said Emily Elliott, executive director of Heart Math Tutoring. “Hundreds of students who are falling behind will build skills and confidence at an accelerated pace because of these partnerships.”

Heart Math Tutoring is a math intervention program that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to work as tutors in high-poverty elementary schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Over 700 community members spend one hour each week delivering Heart’s research-based, structured curriculum. About 56 percent of economically disadvantaged children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools perform below grade level in math, based on 2016 North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests.

“Heart meets an urgent need in Charlotte for students who are below grade level in math. In recent years, Heart has more than doubled the number of students being tutored – helping each to achieve critical building blocks for success,” said Johanna Anderson, executive director at The Belk Foundation. “Together with Heart, we are deeply committed to strengthening public education.”

In the 2015/16 school year, 99 percent of Heart students met program growth goals in math, growing in two or more building block concept areas. On average, students doubled the goal – growing in 4.6 concept areas. Heart students began the year with 28 percent of foundational skills needed, based on grade level standards. By the end of the year, they grew to having 59 percent of the skills they need, cutting the gap in half. In addition, since 2013/14, Heart has grown from serving 105 students in two schools and is serving more than 600 students across 12 school sites in 2016/17.

“Giving back to the community and supporting educational programs for underserved students is very important to us,” said Jane McIntyre, Director of Charitable Giving at Faison Enterprises. “We are delighted to support Heart, knowing that our contribution will make a direct difference for children.”

Adds Elliott, “Over 16 new schools applied for Heart’s program in 2016. These school sponsorship-level grants make a tremendous impact on students and enable Heart to meet the need in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”

According to Heart, it costs $50,000 to fully fund a school site where 50-80 students receive one-on-one instruction for 30 minutes twice a week from September thru May. The cost for a new school partner includes: an on-site coordinator, tutoring supplies, volunteer recruitment, assessments and data analysis.

To make a donation to Heart, contact executive director Emily Elliott, or 980-292-2297. No amount is too small. Heart accepts individual donations and grants from corporations and foundations.

About The Belk Foundation

The Belk Foundation is a Charlotte-based family foundation that supports public education by strengthening teachers and school leaders, and ensuring that students are achieving on or above grade level by the third grade. Now in its fourth generation of family leadership, The Belk Foundation serves as the public expression of gratitude and commitment shown by the family that created the Belk department store organization. The Belk Foundation had assets of more than $49 million as of March 31, 2016. Since 2000, The Belk Foundation has distributed more than $43 million to charities across the Southeast. More information is available at

About Faison Enterprises

Faison Enterprises, Inc. is a 50-year-old, privately-held investment firm with a diversified portfolio that includes retail, commercial and residential project holdings. Over the last 20 years, Faison has developed or acquired more than $3 billion in real estate assets. For more information, visit

Heart Math Tutoring

Heart Math Tutoring is a Charlotte-based nonprofit with a mission to ensure that all elementary students develop the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success, by helping schools use volunteers as tutors. Community members commit one hour per week to deliver an effective, hands-on curriculum through one-on-one tutoring sessions during the school day in Title I elementary schools. For more information, visit


Jenni Walker – Walker PR Group – 980-339-8041-office/704-649-6571-cell
Emily Elliott – Heart Math Tutoring – 980-292-2297



Heart Math Tutoring tutors with students. Images courtesy of Heart Math Tutoring.

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