We are so happy that you are reading this and learning about all of the very good things happening at TLC this spring! Thank you for your belief in our mission, and everything you do to bring it to life. It truly pays off when you see these beautiful faces excited about learning - and most importantly - ready for BIG school!

Read on, my friend....


Spring 2024 Newsletter

Celebrating Black History Month

at TLC

The Discovery Den, a hands-on, play-based learning space where our children can explore in-depth on certain topics, is perfect for celebrating Black History Month! Weekly, we learn about important, historical Black people whose genius is still impacting our lives today. We have featured Katherine Johnson, an aerospace mathematician who ensured the success of NASA’s space program with her calculations. To recognize her accomplishments, the children made stomp rockets and launched them in the playground. Below, Sinai and Ariah show us the traffic signals they made while learning about Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the yellow caution light. Benjamin Bannaker, naturalist, astronomer, almanac author, and inventor, was also interested in watches and clocks. In his 20's, he created the first clock made of all-American parts and completely fashioned of wood. Pictured below, Ms. Mel’s students show their handiwork. By teaching the importance of Black History Month to children at a young age, we can help instill a sense of awareness, respect, and appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of the Black community. At TLC, we will continue to learn, grow, and celebrate our rich history!

Teen Volunteers Make an BIG Impact at TLC

TLC teen volunteers show initiative, a heart for helping others, and a thoughtful dedication to community service. Three groups of enterprising teens, devoting their time and talents, are supporting school readiness for our students and their families. The Learning Continues. This Myers Park High School (MPHS) student service group, led by Sarah Campbell Carson and Grey Tugwell, plans something special for each month. Before school started in August, they helped teachers prepare classrooms and volunteered during Open House. Later, they coordinated donations and ran the ice cream stand at our annual Green Apple Gig event. In February’s unit, For the Love of Reading, the group brought new books to help build children’s home libraries. April features an Easter egg hunt. These MPHS students have great ideas to help others and even better follow through! I am 24/7. Our collaboration with Grier Heights nonprofit I am 24/7 began last spring. Three of their exceptional student leaders were tutors to our Pre-K graduates during Summer Literacy Camp. These high schoolers completed Augustine Literacy Project’s (ALP) rigorous tutor training. For five weeks, they each worked with 2-3 students individually to deliver the early literacy curriculum that was written by ALP specifically for TLC’s rising kindergarteners. Keionta White (a TLC graduate himself!), David Awuah, and Destiny White, all of whom live or have lived in Grier Heights, made an indelible impact on the children, earning special nicknames and lots of hugs! A few even realized they are neighbors. We are thrilled that all three are planning to return in June for their second summer, alongside other tutors from MPHS and East Mecklenburg High School. Lillian Smith and friends. Lillian first learned about TLC as a Charlotte Country Day School student three years ago. Since then she has been a consistent volunteer each summer, and has a special connection with several of our students. Lillian enjoys her time at TLC so much that she recruited like-minded friends to join her. This spring, they coordinated donations of slow-cookers and Food Lion gift cards for TLC moms participating in a wellness workshop. In collaboration with Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, Clayworks, and a registered dietician, TLC offers an opportunity to craft a soup bowl, followed by a series of healthy cooking, shopping, and budgeting workshops for young families. Each participating TLC mom will receive a slow-cooker, handmade bowl, gift card, and cookbook. This new initiative is possible because of Lillian and friends!

If you are a teen or adult interested in volunteering, please contact us at info@tlccharlotte.org. We follow the CMS school year calendar, plus a 5-week Summer Literacy Camp. On-site teen volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.

TLC Parents Strive to Make a Positive Difference in their Children's Lives One Day at a Time

“There is no greater excitement as a social worker than seeing people change their way of thinking, which positively impacts behaviors,“ believes Family Success Navigator Chastity Richey.

We at The Learning Collaborative are actively fulfilling the mission daily by investing in parents and children. It truly takes a village! With our many dedicated, kind, and enthusiastic partners through strong relationships and collaboration, we witnessed sharing Christmas joy with each family. With a visit from Santa with his elves during the wonderful Christmas celebration that Crowder Constructors provides, bringing surprise gifts specially picked for each child, the tears were hard to hold back! The second annual TLC Jingle Shop was filled with new toys, clothes, and household goods for families. The only payment accepted was to shop with a cheerful heart and big smile. Every family experienced a Merry Christmas and witnessed smiles from their children. We are grateful for the Charlotte Country Day School 8th grade, who donated all of the gifts for the Jingle Shop, making a merry holiday for so many!

As we continue to promote self-sufficiency and self-efficacy, parents have been actively engaged in attending workshops on topics to make positive changes that benefit their families. Through collaborative efforts with a trained facilitator, we started the year with a four-week Triple P (Positive Parenting Practices) discussion series, concluding on February 6. Parent participation was strong and several earned their Triple P certificate.

TLC mom Dominique earned her Triple P certificate and poses with facilitator Candace Wilson.

Valentine’s Day was special and wonderful because of the cheerful hearts of an army of friends. TLC moms were celebrated and encouraged with beautiful roses and a gift basket, reminding mothers of their importance. Another group of lovely volunteers treated staff with comforting and delicious take-home meals. Many thanks to our friends at PNC Grow Up Great, who added to the celebration with cards and chocolates.

To close out the month, TLC staff celebrated with a soul food potluck that was both nourishing and heartwarming. The homemade delicious dishes included ribs, mac-n-cheese, biscuits, collard greens, candied yams, and a variety of sweet desserts to complete the feast! At TLC, we love a potluck - and this one will be an annual tradition from now on!

TLC board member Rebecca McPhail, pictured (above) with TLC mom Deasia, and Daniela celebrated the love on Valentine's Day. Roses and thoughtful gift baskets were sponsored by the Young Women's Bible Study.

Some fun pics from our NC Pre-K 1 classroom! Focused in a 'learning center' of their choice, the children pictured are actively engaged in drawing or building, which also helps fine motor skills - so important for handwriting!

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Dr. C's Corner

Life is full of daily traffic lights telling us to Go, Slow Down, and Stop. What we do with each encounter matters and impacts others around us. Amid life's demands, we may find ourselves caught in the Energizer Bunny syndrome – constantly moving without a clear sense of accomplishment. How did you spend your time today? Did you show care for others? Did you lend a helping hand? Did you focus on what you lack, or did you brighten someone's day? Regardless of your answers, it is crucial to show yourself grace. Take a moment to slow down. Simply inhale and exhale - gain clarity while refocusing and intentionally being present. Life's pressures sometimes make us feel disconnected in a vast expanse. Remember, you have the power to change the atmosphere around you. Your energy is infectious. I encourage you to be present and make a positive impact.

~Dr. Chastity Richey

Discovery Den

After reading season-related books, children took a walk outside to collect natural materials. Inside the Discovery Den, the were guided to explore texture, size, shape, and even smells. Here, two students play and learn. Is it smooth or bumpy? Does it float or sink? These provocations led to all kinds of sensory exploration!

The Learning Collaborative's mission is to prepare underserved children and their families to succeed in school by providing a tuition-free, high-quality preschool education through a unique partnership with our children, families, parents, staff, and community.

Since 1987, TLC has served more than 3,500 children and parents.

TLC is a non-profit organization that relies upon our generous community to continue preparing children for school success. Please donate today to support this mission!

Yes!  I will help 72 at-risk children build the skills they need to succeed in school!


Tickets on Sale Now!

Charlotte Wine + Food Week (CW+FW) presented by Truist returns on April 16th-21st for its 36th year of fundraising with a wine and food event for every taste, all for a good cause. Event proceeds benefit Charlotte-area children's charities.


Facebook @CharlotteWineandFood Instagram


Special Spring Literacy Sessions for Our Pre-K Students

As we prepare for our Summer ALP/TLC summer literacy camp, we will kick off a spring literacy tutoring program for our NC Pre-K students. Jan Scott Farmer is recruiting reading volunteers to come weekly and work with small groups focusing on reading time, phonological awareness, story recall, and fun ABC games!

Green Apple Gig 2024!

We are already planning the Green Apple Gig this September. TLC’s family-friendly afternoon of fellowship and fun is in need of some helping hands! We have an hourly, short-term position (late July through mid-Sept) to help with socials, volunteers, sponsorships, and/or logistics.

If interested, please email Pam at pgray@tlccharlotte.org by April 15.