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Heart Math Tutoring Kicks Off Spring Funding Initiative With $350,000 Grant from The Leon Levine Foundation

March 22, 2017

Goal is to fund 18 CMS school sites in 2017/18 school year

Heart Math Tutoring (Heart) – a nonprofit group dedicated to helping students in high-poverty elementary schools develop math skills and academic confidence – is kicking off its spring funding initiative with a three-year $350,000 grant from The Leon Levine Foundation (TLLF).

The Leon Levine Foundation’s multi-year grant will fund capacity-related investments supporting Heart’s plans to partner with over half of the high-poverty schools in Charlotte within three years. Specific investments funded by this grant include a full-time Heart employee dedicated to tutor recruitment and other key staffing and infrastructure costs.

“Over the past few years, we have come to know Heart Math Tutoring well, and are excited to help further drive its impact with this three-year capacity-building grant,” said Tom Lawrence, executive director of The Leon Levine Foundation. “We believe education is key to a thriving economy and community, so we are thrilled to take a larger role in the great work Heart is doing to ensure that students have the math skills they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes at the same time as Heart kicks off its spring funding initiative, with a goal of raising $880,000 by Friday, June 30 to support almost 950 students and 1,100 volunteer tutors across 18 schools in 2017/18.

To date, around $570,000 has been raised from grants, corporate donations and community support during FY17. That number includes $130,000 from the TLLF grant, along with grants from The Belk Foundation, Faison Enterprises, Wells Fargo, William Coltrane and Norma Craft Cannon Charitable Trust, Social Venture Partners, and others. Around $237,000 has been received from donations from individuals.

“We are so grateful to The Leon Levine Foundation staff and board for their trust in Heart’s model and for this opportunity to realize the potential impact we believe Heart’s model will make on Charlotte students,” said Emily Elliott, executive director of Heart Math Tutoring. “This grant along with other donations provide us a wonderful springboard from which to grow our funding and increase the number of students who will benefit from one-on-one tutoring this coming school year.”

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 750 community members spend one hour each week delivering Heart’s research-based, structured curriculum. Since 2013/14, Heart has grown from serving 105 students in two schools to serving more than 660 students across 12 school sites in 2016/17.

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. 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.

Adds Elliott, “We are proud of what our volunteers and donors are accomplishing for Charlotte students, particularly in growing Heart’s reach while student outcomes are also increasing. As Heart grows, so must our family of funding partners. So, we invite the community to join our fundraising effort to ensure all students build the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success.”

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 at or 980-292-2297. No amount is too small. Heart accepts individual donations and grants from corporations and foundations. For more information about Heart’s spring funding initiative, visit

The Leon Levine Foundation
The Leon Levine Foundation’s mission is to improve the human condition by creating permanent, measurable and life-changing impact. The organization invests in nonprofits with a successful track record and a focus on sustainability in the areas of healthcare, education, Jewish values and human services.

Started by Leon Levine, the creator of the first Family Dollar Store in Charlotte, N.C., in 1980, the foundation has grown into one of the country’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organizations. For more information, please 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

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



Courtesy of Heart Math Tutoring

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