EOC earns state award

Rep. Rita Allison, EOC executive director Melanie Barton, EOC chairman David Whittemore and EOC vice chairman Dr. Danny Merck accept the 2015 Early Childhood Champions of Children Award last month.

Columbia — The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC) received statewide recognition for its work on behalf of young children on Oct. 15, receiving the 2015 Early Childhood Champions of Children Award.

The award, presented by the Institute for Child Success, recognizes outstanding efforts to strengthen South Carolina’s early childhood education system. EOC chairman David Whittemore, vice chairman Dr. Danny Merck and EOC executive director Melanie Barton represented the committee at the award ceremony in Greenville.

“The committee recognizes that an investment in a child’s education early is critical to making an impact in the future,” Whittemore said. “We are pleased to be recognized by the Institute for such a prestigious honor.”

In addition to the EOC, the Beaufort County School District was also honored for its expansion of prekindergarten services for 4-year-olds.

Winners are selected by the board of the Institute for Child Success. ICS is a private, nonpartisan research and policy organization that supports policymakers, service providers, government agencies and business leaders focused on development, healthcare and education for children ages birth to 5 years old.

The SC Education Oversight Committee is an independent, non-partisan group made up of 18 educators, business persons, and elected leaders. Created in 1998, the committee is dedicated to reporting facts, measuring change, and promoting progress within South Carolina’s education system.